What is Ketubah Lithograph Artwork?

Today the decoration on a Ketubah has become a fine art and is made using one of a number of artistic medium, here I would like to tell you about lithographic Ketubah design.

To help you make your selection of which kind of artwork to incorporate in your Ketubah here is a run down of what lithography – means in relation to Ketubot.

Because Ketubah decoration is usually extremely intricate and the designs can be complex Ketubah artists often employ methods of reproducing their Ketubah artwork which do not compromise on the quality of the work. This is accepted practice otherwise one would have to wait many months to receive a completed Ketubah. Lithography is one of the methods of reproducing Ketubah art while retaining the quality of the original work.

Lithograph Ketubah Art
Lithography is a printing process used to form copies of original paintings or it can be a printing method used to create original printed art. It uses a unique method of a smooth flat stone or metal plate onto which a copy of the design is place in an oil based medium (crayon) then oil based ink is put on the stone/metal and the oil based ink merges with the grease image. The top is covered in water to keep the ink from flowing into the places where color is not wanted. Next a page of good quality paper is laid on top of the stone or metal slate and the image is transferred onto the paper using a light press. This technique is repeated each time with a separate shade until all the needed tones have been added.

The method used to create a lithograph requires each color of the print to be applied separately and then the artist needs to wait for the first color to dry before applying the second, and so on.

Lithograph Ketubot of authentic fine art can be valuable due to the talent needed to produce them, expense and time needed to create a new lithograph marriage contract. As each Ketubah lithograph has to be made separately unlike digital printing where you simply press a button. Lithograph copies of original designs are usually limited in number which enhances their price tag. As lithograph reproductions of original artwork are generally done with the
artist’s approval and in limited quantities they should be signed by the original artist. There may also be an “edition number” on the bottom of the print, this number tells you how many prints have been made of this artwork and which number your print is. Your Ketubah artwork doesn’t necessarily have to have an edition number and artist’s signature but you should discuss this with the artist.

Original lithographic artwork made not as a reproduction of hand painted work but as artwork in it’s own right also exists. A skilled lithograph artist could also create an original Ketubah design from scratch using only lithography.

I recommend you only buy a lithograph Ketubah from a reputable artist to avoid getting a blurred and smudged piece of art. Ask the artist if they are the original artist and how many copies of the lithograph have been made.


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