Alois Senefelder

Alois Senefelder

Prague, Okres Praha, Prague Capital City, Czech Republic
Death 26 Feb 1834 (aged 62)
Munich (München), Stadtkreis München, Bavaria (Bayern), Germany
Burial Isarvorstadt, Stadtkreis München, Bavaria (Bayern), Germany
Memorial ID 6053 · View Source
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Actor, Playwright, and Inventor of Lithography. He was born Aloys Johan Nepomuk Franz Senefelder in Prague, modern-day Czechoslovakia, where his actor father was appearing in a stage production. He was educated in Munich, Bavaria and won a scholarship to study law in Ingolstadt, Bavaria. His father died in 1791 and he was forced to leave school to support his mother and eight siblings. He became an actor and also wrote a successful play "Connoisseur of Girls." When he had problems with the printing of his play "Mathilde von Altenstein," he fell in to debt and was unable to publish a new play that he had written. He began experimenting with a novel etching technique, using a greasy, acid-resistant ink as a resist on a smooth fine-grained stone of Solnhofen limestone. He soon discovered this could be extended to allow printing from the flat surface of the stone, and it became the first planographic process in printing. He joined with the Andre family of musical publishers slowly bringing his technique into a workable form, and perfecting both the chemical processes along with the special form of printing press needed to use the stones. He referred to this as "stone printing" or "chemical printing' but the French name "lithography" became more widely adopted. In 1796 he, along with composer Franz Gleissner, started a publishing firm that used lithography. He obtained patent rights to his printing process across Europe and in 1818 he publicized his findings in "Vollstandiges Lehrbuch der Steindruckerei." He was soon able to exploit the potential of lithography as a medium for art, enabling more accuracy and textual variety than before, because the artist could draw directly onto the plate. He was decorated by King Maximilian Joseph of Bavaria for his efforts. He died in Munich at the age of 62. A statue f stands in the town of Solnhofen, where the lithographic stone is still quarried. A marble statue of him by sculptor Rudolf Pohle was erected at Berlin in 1892, in the then-named Thusneldaplatz Square.

Bio by: William Bjornstad

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Jul 1999
  • Find a Grave Memorial 6053
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Alois Senefelder (6 Nov 1771–26 Feb 1834), Find a Grave Memorial no. 6053, citing Alter Südfriedhof München, Isarvorstadt, Stadtkreis München, Bavaria (Bayern), Germany ; Maintained by Find A Grave .