What's the Difference Between an Original Print and a Reproduction?

January 03, 2019

Homage a Miro is a lithograph by Joan Miro

There is often a great deal of confusion concerning the difference between an original print and a reproduction.

A reproduction is a copy of another work of art. It could be a copy of a painting, drawing or of an original print. There is no creative process involved.  Prints commonly called Limited Edition prints are offset lithographs which is a photographic reproduction process. Giclees most often fall into this category since a work of art is photographed and a computer generates the print.

Forgotten is an etching by the artist David HunterAn original print is not a copy of anything. There is no painting or drawing that it is a copy of. Yes, it is created in multiples but each piece is considered a work of art because the artist conceived and executed it in that medium.   The artist created the composition on a metal, wood, stone, stencil or some other type of matrix which was then inked and pressed to paper by the artist or an atelier.  Common mediums for this are etchings, engravings, wood cuts, lithographs (not to be confused with offset lithographs) and serigraphs. Forgotten by David Hunter

Both reproductions and original prints can be signed and numbered by the artist. You need to be aware that just because it is signed, does not verify that the piece is original.

Original prints have been created for centuries by amazing and talented artists such as Durer, Rembrandt, Picasso and Chagall.  Many contemporary artists also work in these mediums. They make wonderful additions to your collection.

To learn more about art, contact Seaside Art Gallery. The gallery is one of the largest galleries in the Southeast, with more than 50 years of excellence and reputed customer service. Their toll free number is 800-828-2444, or shop 200+ artists on their website, www.seasideart.com.

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