Contemporary Sensibility & Historical Perspective
Produced by a process that combines photography and lithographic printmaking, the collotype was the state of the art for photographic reproduction at the turn of the twentieth century. Collotypes are printed from plates prepared using a photochemical process that renders the image in extremely fine tonal gradations with a practically infinite range of values. Unlike gelatin silver or inkjet prints, collotypes are printed with opaque oil-based pigment inks that can be meticulously layered to create images of unmatched richness and depth. Due to the high level of expertise needed to obtain consistent results, the technique has been replaced by faster, cheaper, more mechanized printing processes. Today the Benrido Atelier is one of the world’s few remaining collotype studios.
About Benrido Atelier
Established in Kyoto in 1887, Benrido brings over a century of experience to image- making. Along with local papermakers and bookbinders, the Benrido craftsmen have upheld a tradition of superior Kyoto artisanship for more than a century, creating and preserving thousands of national treasures and works of art. As one of the world’s last remaining producers of collotype, Benrido offers rare access to this lost craft, providing opportunities for today’s artists to collaborate with the atelier’s master printers in making unique fine art prints.