Lithography was discovered in 1798 in Germany by Alois Senefelder (1771-1834), whose efforts to find an inexpensive method to reproduce the text of his plays accidentally led to a new and revolutionary way of printing. Although lithographs were almost immediately produced in Germany and England, the artists of France were the first to appreciate the aesthetic potentialities of this most flexible, responsive, and personal medium. In 1806, one of Napoleon's generals, Baron Lejeune, an amateur painter, was impressed by the technique while in Munich. Upon his return to Paris, he succeeded in introducing a few artists to the method, and by 1811 Denon's studio had become a fashionable center of lithography for amateurs.

Download this artwork (provided by The Cleveland Museum of Art).
Learn more about this artwork.


  • Title: Holy Family on the Flight into Egypt
  • Creator: Dominique Vivant Denon (French, 1747-1825)
  • Date Created: 1809
  • Physical Dimensions: Sheet: 23.7 x 19.2 cm (9 5/16 x 7 9/16 in.); Image: 9.7 x 14.1 cm (3 13/16 x 5 9/16 in.)
  • Type: Print
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1940.1097
  • Medium: lithograph
  • Department: Prints
  • Culture: France, 19th century
  • Credit Line: Mr. and Mrs. Lewis B. Williams Collection
  • Collection: PR - Lithograph
  • Accession Number: 1940.1097

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps