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Course Convenor: Dr Elizabeth Savage (IES)
Maximum: 15 students
Venue: Senate House

The history of printing is not in black and white. Colour played an essential role in print culture even before Gutenberg printed his Bible, but it has long hidden in plain sight because colour printing is rarely recorded. This interdisciplinary, introductory course provides an overview of colour printing techniques in the West from manual techniques c.1400 through the development of chromolithography in the mid-1800s. Discussions will be based on the close analysis of many kinds of content, including text, images, music, diagrams, maps, scientific tools and mathematical figures. By discussing colour-specific issues in the design, production and use of printed material across diverse kinds of content, participants will learn how to identify the most common techniques for printing colour in the hand-press period.

Key Texts

Gaskell, Roger. ‘Printing House and Engraving Shop: A Mysterious Collaboration’. The Book Collector 53 (2004): 213–51.
Stijnman, Ad. Engraving and Etching, 1400–2000: A History of the Development of Manual Intaglio Printmaking Processes. London: Archetype Publications, 2012. Chapter 4: Printing the Matrix: Colour Printing Procedures.
Stijnman, Ad, and Elizabeth Savage. Printing Colour 1400–1700: History, Techniques, Functions and Receptions. Leiden: Brill, 2015.
Twyman, Michael. A History of Chromolithography: Printed Colour for All. London: British Library; New Castle: Oak Knoll Books, 2013.

Recommended Reading 

Histories of Colour Printing
Burch, R. M. Colour Printing and Colour Printers. New York: Baker and Taylor, 1910.
Friedman, Joan M. Colour Printing in England 1486–1870 (New Haven: Yale Center for British Art, 1978).
Gascoigne, Bamber. Milestones in Colour Printing 1457–1859. Cambridge UP, 1997.
Gnann, Achim, David Ekserdjian, and Michael Foster. Chiaroscuro: Renaissance Woodcuts from the Collections of Georg Baselitz and the Albertina, Vienna. London: Royal Academy of Arts, 2014.
Kemmer, Claus. Von Cranach Bis Baselitz. Meisterwerke Des Clairobscur-Holzschnitts. Braunschweig: Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, 2003.
Rodari, Florian. Anatomie de la couleur. L'invention de l'estampe en couleurs. Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France; Lausanne: Musée Olympique, 1996.