image In the nineteenth century, the production of prints became an industry. Manufactured and available everywhere but in the remotest parts of the world, prints constituted an affordable commodity (...). Cheap lithographs, expensive line engravings, photographs, and photomechanical impressions - there was a picture for everybody. As intense as was the conflict between printmakers and photographers in the second half of the nineteenth century within the art world, it is doubtful that the general public paid much attention to the techniques used to make reproductions. Nowadays, these images are seen either as documentation of lost paintings or vestiges of an old-fashioned art form, the reproductive print. They also appear to cultural historians as symptoms of the media explosion of the second half of the nineteenth century, which relied heavily on the advent of photography and printing processes derived from it. Rarely are they thought of in the context for which they were actually created: the decoration of interiors.

Par Pierre-Lin Renié, Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, vol. 5, # 2, Autumn 2006.
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