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The original print

The original print may be differentiated from the interpreted print as it is conceived and carried out directly by the engraver. Good examples are Dürer, Rembrandt, Goya or Picasso, who experimented on the printing plate in a process that sometimes paralleled innovations in their painting; nevertheless they always strictly conceived and realised their prints as graphic work. These artists are at the basis of the history of printmaking and their creations and technical innovations are proof of this. Rembrandt, for example, etched his printing plates himself and printed his own proofs; nowadays, however, printing is left to specialists, as it is no longer considered necessary that artists take care of this themselves.

The artist hands the printing plate(s) and “Bon á Tirer” proofs or master image(s) to the printing specialist so that a series may be pulled. Nowadays artists may limit themselves to giving a sketch to the printer and put him in charge of engraving and printing it. This causes doubts, however, as to the originality of an artistic print. What is more, alternative techniques and photomechanical and digital means of reproduction are increasingly used, creating such exact copies of artistic drawings and paintings that they may be signed as originals by the artist; therefore the following question arises:

What requirements must a print fulfil to qualify as an original?


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 Printmaking:  Engraving  ·  The original print  ·  Etching  ·  Printing  


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