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George Baxter

(1804—1867) colour printer


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(b Lewes, Sussex, 31 July 1804; d Sydenham, Kent [now in Greater London], 11 Jan. 1867).

English engraver and printer. In 1835 he patented a method of making colour prints—the first commercially viable alternative to the hand-coloured print. The basic design, usually in aquatint, was printed from a steel plate, and the colours were superimposed from up to twenty wooden blocks. Around the middle of the century ‘Baxter prints’ enjoyed a great vogue, making coloured reproductions of paintings widely available. Baxter licensed other firms to employ the process and did not himself profit greatly from the invention; in fact he became bankrupt in 1865. By this time his process was being superseded by colour lithography.

Subjects: Art.


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