ANTIQUE CHROMOLITHOGRAPH PRINTS OF MILITARY & RELIGIOUS LIFE IN THE 17th CENTURY
This 133 year old CHROMOLITHOGRAPH print is from the book "XVIIth CENTURY. iNSTIUTIONS, USAGE & COSTUMES OF FRANCE DURING 1590-1700." by Paul Lacroix, was published in Paris by the publishing firm of Firmin-Didot et Cie in 1880. These plates consisted of historical dress from the middle ages and Renaissance periods.
Chromolithography is a method for making multi-color prints. This type of color printing stemmed from the process of lithography, and it includes all types of lithography that are printed in color. Chromolithography became the most successful of several methods of color printing developed by the 19th century. The initial technique involved the use of multiple lithographic stones, one for each color, and was still extremely expensive when done for the best quality results. Depending on the number of colors present, a chromolithograph could take months to produce, by very skilled workers. To make an expensive reproduction print as what was once referred to as a “’chromo’”, a lithographer, with a finished painting in front of him, gradually created and corrected the many stones using proofs to look as much as possible like the painting in front of him, sometimes using dozens of layers.
The process of chromolithography is chemical, because an image is applied to a stone or zinc plate with a grease-based crayon. (Limestone and zinc are two commonly-used materials in the production of chromolithographs.) After the image is drawn onto stone, the stone is gummed with gum arabic solution and weak nitric acid, and then inked with oil-based paints and passed through a printing press along with a sheet of paper to transfer the image to the paper. Colors may be added to the print by drawing the area to receive the color on a different stone, and printing the new color onto the paper. Each color in the image must be separately drawn onto a new stone or plate and applied to the paper one at a time. It was not unusual for twenty to twenty-five stones to be used on a single image. Each sheet of paper will therefore pass through the printing press as many times as there are colors in the final print. In order that each color is placed in the right position in each print, each stone or plate must be precisely ‘registered,’ or lined up, on the paper using a system of register marks.
Paul Lacroix (1806 - 1884), French author and journalist, was born in Paris, the son of a novelist.
He is best known under his pseudonym of P.L. Jacob, bibliophile, or Bibliophile Jacob, suggested by the constant interest he took in public libraries and books generally. Lacroix was an extremely prolific and varied writer. More than twenty historical romances alone came from his pen, and he also wrote a variety of serious historical works, including a history of Napoleon III, and the life and times of the Tsar Nicholas I of Russia.
He was the joint author with Ferdinand Séré of a five-volume work, Le moyen âge et la renaissance (1847), a standard work on the manners, customs and dress of those times, the chief merit of which lies in the great number of illustrations it contains. He also wrote many monographs on phases of the history of culture, including Manners, Custom and Dress During the Middle Ages and During the Renaissance Period. In 1885 he was appointed librarian of the Arsenal Library,
CHROMOLITHS BY LACROIX ARE THE FINEST THAT WE SELL.
This very fine chromo print has an image that is about 8" X 5 3/4" on a page that is 11 " x 7 1/2 " and blank on the back. It is in very good condtion with some minor age toning. It is suitable for framing and would be an excellent gift.
The print that is being offered is of:
"ESCADRON DU PRINCE DE CONDE - LE CHAVAL DE BATAILLE, CARROUSEL DE 1662"