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Rudolph Ackermann

Born in Saxony, Rudolph Ackermann initially trained as a carriage maker and designer and worked in Germany, Paris and Brussels before settling in London in 1787. Whilst continuing to design carriages he became increasingly interested in printing processes and their commercial potential. In 1795 he set up a lithographic press at 96 Strand and two years later moved to the larger premises at 101 Strand which he named the Repository of Arts. By the turn of the century he was the leading publisher of colour-plate books, decorative prints and fashionable periodicals. But The Repository of Arts  was much more than just a publishing house;  it included a a drawing school, a gallery, a library, and artists materials were made and sold as well. The shop became a highly fashionable social space for the well-to-do, particularly women. 

Ackermann published over 300 books and his name is synonymous with the finest colour-plate books of the early nineteenth century. His most celebrated are The Microcosm of London, (1808-1810) and the monthly magazine The Repository of Arts, Literature, Commerce, Manufactures, Fashion and Politics (1809-1828). Examples of prints from both these publications can be viewed here.    


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