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Plates, hand coloured vs. original state.

Author: Bernatz
Year: 1839
Category: Website reference service

Before the introduction of chromolithography if a book was issued with colour plates, these plates usually were coloured by hand. This work was done by professional colourists. Often, though not always, the artist after whose drawing or painting a lithograph was made, coloured a copy himself as an example to the colourists, so that the colours would approximately be the same in every copy of a book.
Sometimes lithographs were printed with the explicit intention to have them coloured, but it happened as well that just one or a few copies were coloured, while the majority of the copies were bound and sold in their original state.
Here you will find two details of a lithograph after Bernatz. First a detail in the original state as intended for this work, then the same detail in contemporary colouring.

Click on a picture to enlarge.




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