Fine Art Reproductions

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If you love fine art like nearly all people do, chances are you'd want to hang a specimen on your wall. Who wouldn't want a da Vinci, a Rembrandt, a Monet, a Renoir, a Goya, a Constable, a Van Gogh, a Cezanne, a Matisse, a Picasso, or a Dali to adorn their walls?

High art has been there since the dawn of civilization, but since the Renaissance i.e. the fourteenth century onwards, there is a deluge of sculptures, murals, gouache, watercolor, and oil paintings to choose from. In the closing decades of the last century, digital art too has made its way into the ranks of fine art.

Masterpieces don't come cheap

The problem lies with the finances. Possessing an original painted by the likes of those mentioned above could set you back by millions of dollars. Only a handful of art galleries, museums or billionaire private collectors can afford to have a painting by such luminaries in their collection. Does that mean the not so rich art lovers cannot have a painting at home to marvel at, or to lift their minds above the mundane? Of course they can! In such a situation, fine art reproduction can come to your rescue.


An obvious way to get a great painting for your home is to go for a copy. There are artists specializing in copying the work of masters. Such copies are hand-painted by on real canvas, using real oil paints. The artists also try their best to make the copies as near identical to the original as possible. While you can hardly expect the class of the original, you can have the satisfaction that it is a genuine oil painting, done on canvas with real oil paint instead of being a paper poster.

The flipside is that:

a. A copy is painted by a trained and skilled artist, using expensive equipment and oil paint, and taking a lot of time. As a result it might still be too expensive for your budget.

b. The touch of masterful genius is bound to be absent. The great artists were, well, great artists after all.

Paper prints

Fine art has been reproduced in the print form since the 1900s, with the advancement of printing technology. Various techniques have been used, the best among them being offset lithography until Giclee printing came along.

Both these techniques can make "museum quality", high fidelity prints of the original artwork. And both have been a boon for art lovers on a budget who would still want to possess a fine art specimen or two for their homes or workplaces.

Offset litho

Color offset lithography is a photo-mechanical process of commercial printing where tiny dots in four colors are printed in different sizes. The overall effect is to produce an illusion of rich colors and minute detail. Before that, the original artwork is scanned using large format drum scanners and a series of negatives and plates made.

Giclee printing on the other hand is an advanced ink-jet printing technique using large format specialized printers on to a host of substrates or media. It emerged in the early nineties and has for all practical purposes replaced offset litho as the art reproduction technology of choice. Let's take a look at the advantages of Giclee printing to see the reasons behind the phenomenon.

Offset vs. Giclee

a. Better color mixing: in Giclee printing, the ink is sprayed onto the substrate to actually mix the colors. This produces better color fidelity than offset litho where tiny dots of color merely deceive the eye into seeing a shade of color.

b. More colors: Giclee printers may use even twelve color ink sets, including more than one shade of the same color. This helps in creating perfect middle tones. As a result the color range or gamut achieved by Giclee printing cannot be matched by offset litho printing.

c. Pigment advantage: the latest inks used in Giclee printing are based on pigments rather than dyes. Pigment particles are less soluble, bigger in size, and much less likely to get degraded by the environment than dyes. As a result, Giclee prints provide better light fastness and therefore much greater shelf life than offset litho prints.

d. Digital advantage: the first stage of Giclee printing involves scanning or digital photography of the original artwork and archiving it. This has a whole lot of advantages.

i. It obviates the need for quality-reducing negatives and plates used in offset litho (and the associated storage problems).

ii. Archived digital files are less likely to deteriorate over time compared to film.

iii. All the advantages of digital image editing tools come into play. Imparting any special effect, color tone etc. becomes easy, as does the possibility of printing on any one from a host of media for each single print.

iv. The prints can be taken one at a time on demand. There is no need to print in a lot.

e. Cheaper to print: while offset litho prints can be cheaper than a Giclee print, such low cost can be achieved only with a print run of 1000! In fact, there is little difference in cost of printing a thousand or a single piece with offset litho. So for a single print or just a few prints, Giclee printing actually turns out to be the much cheaper alternative.

"Original Prints"

Giclee printing has another great advantage.

If you are thinking about buying an "original print", the artist who created the original has to create the copy too, or at least have total creative control over the printing process. The artist also certifies such prints by signing on the bottom right hand margin.

Giclee prints are best suited for making original, authorized prints. The artist can recreate the original artwork himself, choose the color tones, decide on the size and type of media, and even operate the printer himself.

Giclee printing on canvas

The latest craze in the fine art reproduction market is the Giclee print on canvas. The reasons are easy to see. If all the advantages of Giclee printing are combined with the natural and artistic texture of canvas, you have a product which is as close to the real thing as is humanly possible to create.

The rich color tones and high color fidelity on the medium most suited to fine art can recreate the magic of the original like no other. And you should rightly be proud of possessing such a beautiful work of art.

For more information about Fine Art Reproductions visit

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