Glossary of Art Terms

  • Fine Art Black and White Photography:

Any black and white print which came about as a result of the generally accepted artistic creative process. That is to say, the image is represented in the final print as the artist’s concept of the scene rather than just recording the scene. With the black and white print being represented as art, then it stands to reason that it will be a desired collectible; which brings us to the other criteria which define a fine art black and white print, archival qualities. Whatever materials the artist chooses to use, the print materials must be processed in accordance with accepted archival standards.

  • Giclee: (zhee-CLAY)

Giclee is a French word that means a spray or a spurt of liquid. It is, in essence, a fancy name for images made on expensive ink jet printers. To put it in more technical terms, a giclee is an individually produced, high-resolution, high-fidelity reproduction done on a special large format printer. Giclees are produced from digital scans of existing artwork or directly from digital art.

Giclees can be printed on any number of media, from canvas to watercolor paper to transparent acetates. Giclees are superior to traditional lithography in several ways. The colors are brighter, last longer, and are so high-resolution that they are virtually continuous tone, rather than tiny dots. The range, or “gamut” of color for giclees is far beyond that of lithography, and details are crisper.

In addition, Giclees are produced directly from a digital file, saving generations of detail-robbing negatives and printing plates, as with traditional printing. Giclees are priced midway between original art and regular limited edition lithographs. They are coveted by collectors for their fidelity and quality.

  • Limited Edition Print:

A reproduction of an original painting, that is strictly limited to a certain number of images, are usually printed on high quality, acid free cover-weight paper and each is hand signed and numbered by the artist (showing the individual print number and the total number in the edition). When sold out, limited editions are never reproduced in the same format, and therefore appreciate in value.

  • Artist Proofs:

When printing a limited edition, the artist is present to “press check” the quality of the image at the beginning of the press run. Once approved, the artist “signs off” on the run and the first few prints off the press (usually 10% or less of the total run) may be set aside, numbered separately and marked as Artist Proofs (“A/P”). Although basically identical to the rest of the edition, artist proofs are sought by collectors and considered more valuable because of their limited number.

  • Lithograph:

The formal term for any image reproduced on paper from an ink coated plate.

  • Remarques:

A remarque is a limited edition print with a small hand-drawn or painted detail done by the artist. Because of this personalized addition, remarques are highly valued by collectors.

  • Poster:

An open edition reproduction, usually printed on lighter weight paper. Although posters may be collected and are suitable for framing, they have little “investment” value.