This much more direct process was distinguished by the tracing of the design on a stone rather than its incision on a block of wood or its etching on a copperplate and permitted graphic art for the first time to put its products on the market, not only in large numbers as hitherto, but also in daily changing forms.Lithography enabled graphic art to illustrate everyday life, and it began to keep pace with printing.They are, on the other hand, useful for the formulation of revolutionary demands in the politics of art.In principle a work of art has always been reproducible.
Replicas were made by pupils in practice of their craft, by masters for diffusing their works, and, finally, by third parties in the pursuit of gain.
The enormous changes which printing, the mechanical reproduction of writing, has brought about in literature are a familiar story.
However, within the phenomenon which we are here examining from the perspective of world history, print is merely a special, though particularly important, case.
During the Middle Ages engraving and etching were added to the woodcut; at the beginning of the nineteenth century lithography made its appearance.
With lithography the technique of reproduction reached an essentially new stage.