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What's so special about a lithograph?

Joan Miro, original lithograph, 1967 available from

We've been collecting original, museum quality lithographs by 20th Century artists such as Miro, Dali and Matisse for the past couple of decades. Now we're also selling them at Slade House; our modern art, furniture and design shop - both in Somerset and online.

Many were made by the artists with Paris master printmaker Aimé Maeght during the decades following the Second World War, giving greater access to original art to the wider public at a time of great austerity. They are generally in unsigned limited editions of between 250-2,000 and sometimes are 'signed in the stone' which adds to their value.

Produced using artist quality pigments rather than inks, usually onto vellum or arches watercolour paper, creating a lithograph involves drawing with greasy artists' quality crayons or a liquid called tusche, on a polished slab of limestone or aluminium plates. The term is derived from the Greek words for stone, “litho” and drawing, “graph”. They should retain their colour and quality for 100 years+ so long as they cared for correctly.

Our extensive collection really shows off the process at its most sophisticated and intricate in examples by Marc Chagall and Fernand Leger, and at its most bold and colourful in works by Alexander Calder, Joan Miro and Jean Arp, all of whom were leading exponents of the medium.

Take a look at to see examples for sale online and please get in touch if you want to view more.


This video from the Khan Academy shows the process in intricate detail.

Fernand Leger, Mother and Child, original lithograph, signed in the stone 1954, available from

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