This major new book (illustrated with 850 colour illustrations) traces the evolution of chromolithography (lithographic colour printing) from its tentative beginnings in the early nineteenth century to its dominant industrial position in the fifty years before World War 1. The story ends with its gradual decline commercially and revival as an artistic medium in the mid twentieth century. It is the first book to consider the process from a global standpoint and makes connections between developments in various European countries and between Europe and the United States. Chromolithography was applied to a wide range of products - illustrations, posters, ephemera, maps, and reproductions of works of art - and it is argued that it helped to change perceptions of the world by bringing colour to so many walks of life. Chapters are devoted to the trade, and many others to explaining the methods used by chromolithographers, some of which may require readers to suspend their disbelief!
Professor Michael Twyman is the retired head of the Department of Typography and Graphic Communication at University of Reading. He has written more than 10 other books on the history of printing, including four published by The British Library - Printing 1770 - 1970; The British Library Guide to Printing; Breaking the Mould (The First 100 Years of Lithography); The Encyclopaedia of Ephemera.