The Lithographic Album 1873: Reproductive Media and Visual Art in the Age of Lithographic Reproduction
Chapter from the book: Petersson, S et al. 2018. The Power of the In-Between: Intermediality as a Tool for Aesthetic Analysis and Critical Reflection.
This chapter merges media studies with art history or visual studies, as it combines an attentiveness to aesthetics and the materiality of images with an interest in their medium and mediation. It thereby seeks to bridge the alleged gulf between the hermeneutic traditions of art history and the focus on medium and techniques of media studies in general and of media archaeology in particular. As a case study and in focus for the analysis is the Swedish publication Lithographic Album: Portfolio for the Parlour Table, published in Stockholm 1873. This 21-page publication includes lithographic reproductions of photographs, oil paintings, and sculptures adjoined by explanatory texts. In focus is how the combination of texts and images convey how the artworks should be interpreted. Moreover, the texts display contrasting understandings of different artistic mediums, how they should be perceived and their ability to advance certain contents. Taken together, it is evident that the Lithographic Album is tinged by a photographic paradigm of truth and immediacy both in the cases where it describes paintings as documents and when it urges the reader to see the artworks with their own eyes.