Ernest Montaut Studios

Lithographs finished in contemporary watercolor by hand with stencils by Ernest Montaut Studios

Ernest Montaut, a French artist, was celebrated as an illustrator of early automobile racing, air and water transportation. Dramatic posters documenting the earliest auto and air races, these lithographs were popular for advertising promotions as well as for home decoration.

Each lithograph was hand painted with both aqueous and opaque watercolor, applied with a series of stencils. One print might require as many as 18 stencils before completion. A forerunner of modern silk screening, this tedious lithographic process often involved a staff of 12 artists over several days to produce one print. Each print was thus handcrafted, allowing for color variation in almost every image. It is estimated that fewer than 100 designs were created, usually with approximately 100 prints per series.

Simple, accurate and vibrant, these prints are recognized as premier in the early art of the machine age.