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Art Terms and Phrases
- Artist's proofs
- In offset reproductions, artist's proofs are additional prints not included in, but of the same quality as, the regular edition. In original prints, artist's proofs are the first prints pulled, which are the truest prints in the edition because the plates and screens have not yet been worn down. Artist's proofs are distinguished by the abbreviation AP and are numbered separately; they often represent 10 percent of an edition and are slightly more expensive than prints in the regular edition.
- Canvas print
- A reproduction in which an image is printed directly onto canvas. These prints can be produced using offset lithography, digital printing or other methods. Sometimes artists will add brush strokes directly onto the canvas after the piece has been printed.
- Canvas transfer
- A reproduction in which inks are chemically lifted off a piece of paper and applied to a piece of canvas. Some processes can replicate the texture and appearance of an original painting.
- Certificate of Authenticity
- A warranty card or statement of authenticity of a limited-edition print that records the title of the work, the artist's name, the edition size and the print's number within the edition, the number of artist's proofs and the release date. It is a guarantee that the edition is limited and that the image will not be published again in the same form.
- Conservation framing
- Framing that aims to prevent warping, fading, tearing or any other kind or print deterioration. Acid-free mats and glazing with UV protection are used in conservation framing.
- Conservation stamp prints
- Prints that have been reproduced from conservation stamps. Sale of these stamps and prints often benefit conservation program.
- Signature of someone other than the artist that adds either additional authenticity or historical value to a limited-edition print.
- Galleries, collectible shops or individuals who carry and sell artwork. Authorized dealers are those who, by signed agreement, carry and sell the artwork represented by certain print publishers.
- Digital print
- A reproduction in which a digital file of an original painting is printed by a special ink-jet printer that sprays ink directly onto the surface of a substrate. These prints, sometimes called giclées or iris prints, can match the colors of the original within millions of possible hues.
- A person or company responsible for marketing and selling prints and supplying prints to galleries. Sometimes the publisher and distributor are the same entity.
- Edition size
- The total number of prints printed, or pulled, of one particular image. Separate edition sizes are recorded for the signed and numbered prints, artist's proofs and printer's proofs.
- A printing method popular during the 17th Century, in which a metal plate is covered with an acid-resistant material and the artist scratches an image into the plate with an etching needle. When the exposed metal is eaten away in an acid bath, it creates depressed lines that are later inked for printing. Each etching is an original print because it is pulled directly from the plate on which the artist has created the image.
- Glass or acrylic set or made to be set in a frame that protects the artwork from light, dust and other environmental hazards. There are different levels of glazing, from lightweight acrylic and regular glass to more expensive specialty products like anti-glare and anti-reflective glazing.
- A term used to describe prints which an artist has added color or washes after the piece has been printed.
- Image size
- The physical dimensions of an image, not counting the white border around the image.
- Limited-edition print
- A reproduction of an original work of art that is signed and sequentially numbered by the artist. The total number of prints is fixed or limited by the artist or the publisher. Limited edition can be offset lithographs, digital prints, serigraphs or any other type or reproduction.
- Decorative board used in framing that provides contrast between the image and the molding.
- Both the mode of expression (painting, sculpting, etceteras) employed by an artist and the actual material the artist uses to create the art (oil paints, watercolors, etceteras).
- A piece of wood plastics, metal or other material used to frame a piece of art.
- Offset lithograph
- A photo-mechanical reproduction created by the separation of colors in the original and then the recombining of those colors on a printing press. Most posters and open-edition prints and many limited-edition prints are offset lithographs.
- Open-edition pint
- A reproduction of an original work of art that is sometimes signed by the artist. The number of prints published is not predetermined.
- Original lithograph
- Original pieces of art created on the printing presses by an artist or master printer who creates the master plates and executes the printing process. No original exists from which the prints are reproduced, and each print is an original work or art.
- Original painting
- A one-of-a-kind image created by an artist that often sell for several thousands of dollars.
- Original prints
- Prints, such a serigraphs or original lithographs, that are created without the use of photography. They are original because every print in an edition is created directly by the artist and may vary slightly from the other prints in the edition.
- Prints by one artist that are grouped together and sold as a set.
- A reproduction that is usually printed in unlimited quantities with a lower grade of paper and inks than a limited - or open-edition prints. Posters often include graphics.
- Printer's proofs
- Prints created over and above the regular signed and number limited edition that are not available for retail sale. They are retained by the printer as a reference; artists often sign them as a gesture of appreciation.
- A person or company responsible for producing prints of an original work of art for pubic showing and sale.
- Small sketches, painted drawing or additional enhancements made by the artist, usually in the margin of some or all of the final prints within an edition.
- An original work of art that has been duplicated by photographic or other methods.
- Additional prints made after the original edition has been exhausted.
- A stiff, coated cardboard covered with Indian ink that an artist scrapes with special blades. The technique creates a white on black drawing that resembles wood engravings.
- Secondary market
- An unofficial network of dealers and individual who buy and sell prints above the issue price after an image is sold-out at the publisher.
- Secondary market value
- The reported price for a sold-out limited edition, set by supply and demand. Unlike retail prices, secondary market prices can vary from one source to another.
- An artist who publishes and markets his or her own prints, often with the help of family. Some self-published artists also work with distributors.
- A print created with silk screens; ink is pressed through the screens, color by color. Because each color requires a separate screen and a separate step in the printing process, serigraphs often come in small editions.
- As the name suggest, the combination of serigraphy and lithography.
- Signed and numbered
- Limited-edition prints that have been signed and sequentially numbered by the artist. The artist's signature is usually found in one of the lower corners of the print and is accompanied by a number that looks like a fraction; the top number indicates the number of the print and the bottom number indicates the total number prints in the edition.
- When all prints in limited edition have been sold, the edition is sold-out and prints must be bought and sold on the secondary market.
- The canvas, paper or other material on which the image is printed.
- Time-limited edition
- An edition whose size is established by the number of orders a publisher receives during a set period of time.
Next Section: Western Art - A Brief History