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Louis Prang
"Animate Creation" by the Rev. J. G. Wood
1898, published by Selmar Hess, New York


Oil Chromolithographs

Sheet size: approximately 7 3/4 x 10 3/4 inches

Louis Prang (1823-1909), from Boston, was the most prolific and influential publisher of American chromolithographs. Born in Germany, Prang learned to print in color from his father, a calico printer. In 1850, the younger Prang immigrated to the United States for political reasons. After a short-lived partnership as a chromolithographic printmaker with Julius Mayer (Prang & Mayer), Prang set up his own firm of L. Prang & Co. in 1860. Initially, his success was fueled by public consumption of his many small prints, which were popular for collections and albums. More than any other print publisher, Prang created the market for chromolithographs in America, and his work was highly influential on firms around the country. From his long standing Boston establishment, Prang regularly designed and printed the most technically accomplished chromolithographs in the history of the medium. His original color prints demanded as much as thirty-five separate printings in order to achieve the subtleties of tone and color that Prang demanded. No one, either before or after him, matched Prang's consummate skills.


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