Reference Entry

Senefelder, J(ohann) N(epomuk) F(ranz) Alois

Gudrun Schmidt

in Oxford Art Online


Published online January 2003 | e-ISBN: 9781884446054 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gao/9781884446054.article.T077560

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[Aloys]

(b Prague, Nov 6, 1771; d Munich, Feb 26, 1834).

German inventor and printer. Between 1783 and 1793 he went to school in Munich and studied law at the University of Ingolstadt. After the death in 1791 of his father, Johann Peter Senefelder, an actor, he devoted himself to acting and writing. In order to publish his plays himself, Senefelder experimented with relief and intaglio printing processes, using limestone as the printing surface. To overcome the difficulty of writing in reverse, he tried writing on paper using a special ink and transferring this to the stone face down, therefore in reverse. Thus he mastered the transfer method. He next turned his attention to the fact of the non-compatibility of grease and water when applied to the stone, leading to the invention of lithography in 1798–9 (see Lithography, esp. §§I and II, 1). He was granted the first patent for ‘chemical’ printing from a planographic surface in Bavaria on 3 September 1799...

Reference Entry.  588 words. 

Subjects: Prints and Printmaking ; Publishing ; 18th-Century Art ; 19th-Century Art

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