Les Grimaces

Louis Léopold Boilly, Printed by Delpech


Invented early in the nineteenth century, lithography is a printing process based on the concept of the repulsion of water and oil. The artist draws on a prepared stone (usually limestone) with an oily or greasy medium. After the stone is moistened with water the drawn image attracts ink from a roller, while the wet areas do not. The inked image is then printed on a press that forces paper into contact with the stone under great pressure. Boilly’s lithograph is hand-colored.

From 1823 to 1828 Boilly worked on a series of ninety-five lithographs, all caricatures representing various human emotions, such as alarm, menace, pain, disgust, or exasperation.