GRAPHIC ARTS – Limited fine art print editions

Presse Estampes

Graphic arts - The world of master prints and fine art prints

What is a print ?

A print is a work of graphic art which has been conceived by the artist to be realized as an original work of art.

Prints are produced by drawing or carving an image onto a hard surface (known as the Matrix ) such as a wood block, metal plate, or stone.

This surface is then inked and the image is transferred to paper by the application of pressure, thus creating an impression, or print. The printed image that results is the exact reverse of the image on the plate.

Unlike paintings or drawings, prints usually exist in multiple impressions, each of which has been created from the inked plate. 

The total number of impressions made is called an edition.

What is an original print or fine art print?

This type of limited fine art print is created by an artist to be a work of art in its own right. That is to say that, the artist creates original compositions and visual imagery, rather than copying another work of art. Artists are trained in any number of printmaking methods to yield distinctive appearances in their creations. The artist’s choice of a technique or a combination of techniques depends on the specific effect the artist wishes to achieve.

Artists began to sign and number each impression around the turn of the 20th century to ensure that only the editions they intended to make would be in circulationAlso called Limited edition.

Plates are not to be used in subsequent printmaking runs without the artist’s explicit authorization. The process of printing the edition is therefore just as important to the authenticity of a print as the act of inscribing the image onto the plate.