"Original" means that the artist
herself made the image with her own hands
It can - but does not always mean one-of-a-kind. Therefore,
calling something an original piece of art does not
necessarily mean that it is unique.
normally thinks of original as referring to a unique
work that the artist made - a pastel, watercolor, oil painting.
But the term also refers to multiple originals as
in the case of etchings and lithographs in which the artist
herself drew or painted on the plates. So there are
two kinds of original art -one-of-a-kind original
works of art or multiple originals. Therefore, the term original
refers only to the extent of the artist's involvement.
the Tacky Market
the tacky market "original" refers
to the painting or other unique work from which their
limited edition prints are reproduced. So, someone trying
to sell me an Erte for $5500 will say that this print
is a silk-screen copy of an original, unique ink drawing
that was 80% smaller. These people do not recognize the
term original print, and do not think that there is any
What is a Reproduction?
Reproduction simply means a copy. Typically, a work
of art is made in one form, usually a painting or watercolor.
Then, it is either copied by hand or using photographic
techniques such as prints, posters or silk-screens to make
a reproduction. Remember though, an artist who copies
a unique painting by making another unique painting is also
technically making a reproduction. It's just a one-of-a
kind reproduction as opposed to a multiple reproduction.
is a Print?
order to define the term print I must first define
the term matrix. A matrix is an object
upon which a design has been formed and which is then
used to make an impression on a piece of paper, thus
creating a print. A wood block, metal plate or stone
(lithograph) can be used as a matrix. In other words,
a print is a
piece of paper upon which an image has made an impression
from a matrix. Multiple impressions can be made
from the same matrix
is a "Limited Edition Print"?
A limited edition print simply means that a print is
made in an edition that is limited to a certain number,
and that no more will be produced from a matrix. It refers
both to original prints and to tacky market reproductions.
Posters are, for the most part, printed in unlimited editions.