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Last Update1/6/2019


What is a fine art print? Fine art print making is creating a master plate, known as the matrix. This is used to transfer the image onto paper. print making that has many subdivisions, each of which is an art in its own class. This includes etching and lithography.

The artist creates different surface textures, color effects and forms to produce a unique work of art that reflects the artist’s style and personality. The process of transferring or printing the image is repeated numerous times, creating editions of the same image.

All the prints are created from the same matrix will be identical. This is called an Edition. The artist generally limits the edition to a certain number of their choice. The artist will indicate in pencil the number of each individual piece and the total number of copies in the edition. For example 15 of 200 tells the buyer it is the 15th print out of 200 available. After the fine art print has been made, the artist destroys the matrix so that no additional prints can ever be made. The value of fine art prints is affected by the total number available in the edition. Generally the higher the number of prints in the edition, the lower the value will be.

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Unfortunately, today’s technology has lead to a history of fraudulent duplications of fine art prints. Regardless of the limited edition name of the print from the artist, scam artists have found ways to reproduce them. The duplications are hard to identify. It is strongly advised that you investigate the legitimacy from the artist, publisher, or producer prior to purchasing an edition print.

The most well known fine art prints are those of Ansel Adams. His photos represent the wilderness and many landscapes in different seasons. There are many galleries of his work to view online. The details he captured in his work is truly amazing.

The internet is a great place to see fine art prints from numerous artists. I am fascinated by the shear numbers of work available in this fashion. Purchasing prints from available editions vary from just a few dollars to thousands of dollars. Of course, I can’t be sure any of the items I saw are authentic, but it is a great place to start looking if you are interested in a particular piece of work or a particular artist.

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