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Catalog Data

Wood, glass, paper
18 1/4 × 15 3/8 in. (46.4 × 39.1 cm)
Framed prints
Printed matter
ca 1850s
Victorian (1837-1901)
Framed chromolithographic print with the caption, "Modes de Paris ; Petit Courrier des Dames ; Paris Boulevart des Italiens, 1.” This fashion illustration shows two women, one of them with a daisy motif on her dress. A bouquet appears on the table between the women.
Label Text:
A chromolithograph is a type of multi-colored print produced using the lithographic printing process perfected over the first half of the nineteenth century. Surpassing engraving, chromolithography became the most successful method of creating color prints. The chromolithographic process involved drawing an image onto a chemical-treated, smooth stone, usually limestone, because unlike copper and steel engravings, limestone would not degrade from the pressure of the pressing the image onto paper. Each color required its own stone, and they would be successively lined up and printed on the page. Chromolithographs usually used between eight and forty stones for a single print. Although these prints could be mass-produced, it was still a slow process compared to today’s standards in printing. It could take up to three months to draw on the stones and another five months to print a thousand copies.
Chromolithographs were a popular decoration for the middle-class Victorian home, especially in the years following the Civil War when the technology improved allowing for finer prints, available at lower costs through mass production. In addition to popular art prints, chromolithographs populated publications of the era. Books, trade literature, catalogues, periodicals all used chromolithographs to illustrate their pages. Advertising art such as trade cards, labels, posters, and pages in magazines relied heavily on chromolithographic process using vibrant colors and dynamic illustrations to attract attention to their products. Chromolithography remained the most popular form of printing throughout the nineteenth century until offset printing replaced it in the late 1930s.
"Modes de Paris ; Petit Courrier des Dames ; Paris Boulevart des Italiens #3375."
chromolithographs  Search this
frames (furnishings)  Search this
chromolithography  Search this
fashion  Search this
fashion illustration  Search this
Victorian  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection.
Accession number:
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens