Baxter, George

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Baxter, George Gender: M
born on 31 July 1804 at 14:30 (= 2:30 PM )
Place Lewes, England, 50n52, 0e01
Timezone LMT m0e01 (is local mean time)
Data source
Rodden Rating B
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_leocol.18.gif 08°04' s_mo.18.gif s_gemcol.18.gif 01°21 Asc.s_scocol.18.gif 24°07'

George Baxter


English artist and printer based in London, credited with the invention of commercially viable colour printing. It is estimated that Baxter himself printed over twenty million prints during his career.

Though colour printing had been developed in China centuries before, it was not commercially viable. However, in the early years of the 19th century the process of colour printing had been revived by George Savage, a Yorkshireman in London. It was to be Savage's methods upon which Baxter, already an accomplished artist and engraver, was to improve. In 1828, Baxter began experimenting with colour printing by means of woodblocks.

In 1835 Baxter was granted Patent No. 6916 – Improvements in Producing Coloured Steel Plate, Copper Plate and other Impressions, which outlined the combined intaglio and relief process he would continue to use for the next thirty years.

Despite his technical excellence and the general popularity of his prints, Baxter’s business was never profitable – his process was laborious and it seems likely that his perfectionism prevented him from completing many of his commissioned works on time. In 1860 he held a sale of all his stock and equipment, most of which was not sold. Eventually he sold his plates and blocks to the printer Vincent Brooks, who later republished some of Baxter’s images. Baxter was declared bankrupt in 1865 and died in Sydenham on 11 January 1867, after an accident involving a horse omnibus.

Link to Wikipedia biography


Source Notes

GraZia Bordoni's Science file quotes Francesca Snethlage. Sy Scholfield quotes same data from "Baxter Colour Prints: Their History and Methods of Production; and Other Interesting Matter Relating to Operators of Processes Akin to His Methods, Together with Baxter & Le Blond Auction Records for 1917-18" by Harold George Clarke (Maggs Bros., 1919), p. 19: "'The Picture Printer of the Nineteenth Century,' born at Lewes at 2.30 p.m. on the 31st July, 1804. The enquiries I have made confirm this date." Date and place of death from same book, p. 33.


  • Lifestyle : Financial : Loss - Bankruptcy
  • Vocation : Art : Commercial artist
  • Vocation : Art : Fine art artist
  • Vocation : Art : Other Art (Printer)