Fine Art FAQ

What is a Giclee?

A Giclee (pronounced “zhee-clay”) is an ink-jet printing method that relies on computer technology to provide the most precise reproduction of an original painting currently possible. Giclees are known for replicating an artist’s original painting with similar brilliance of color, variety of color, attention to detail, and contrast between colors. In many cases, it can be hard to tell the original painting from the Giclee.

Giclees can be produced on paper, canvas or board. They are produced one at a time, and depending on their size each piece can take up to one hour or more to be created. They are done with very special color-fast inks. The end result is something that looks very much like an original painting.

What is an Artist’s Proof?

In the early days of printmaking, printer's plates would wear down over time. Because of this, the first prints off the printing press were the highest quality and were designated “artist’s proofs”. The artist’s proofs were considered to be the best prints within the edition and often the artist kept them. 

Technology has changed quite a bit since the early days of printmaking. Today, all prints within a run of offset lithographic prints or Giclee prints will be identical in quality. However, the tradition of having a special edition within the edition has stuck around.

Today the value of owning an artist’s proof does not relate to quality, it relates to the importance of owning a rare portion of an edition. Most offset lithographic editions and Giclee editions include less than 20 percent artist’s proofs. Because the art world loves rarity and since there are fewer artist’s proofs than regular prints, they are preferred by many collectors.

Artist’s proofs are clearly notated on the reproduction. If there were 50 artist’s proofs, they will likely be numbered 1/50 A.P. to 50/50 A.P. Most often they will cost between 20% and 50% more than a signed and numbered print from the same edition.

What does S/N stand for?

S/N is a designation that stands for Signed/Numbered. This lets you know that this is a signed limited-edition reproduction.

What is a Remarque?

A remarque is an original sketch or watercolor painting normally found on the border of a print, but also occasionally offered on a separate sheet of paper.

What is a Publisher’s Proof?

A publisher’s proof is basically the same as an artist’s proof except that there are even fewer of them produced. They provide an even more exclusive opportunity for a collector to own something very unique.

Publisher’s proofs usually sell for the same price as artist’s proofs or perhaps slightly more. Traditionally, publisher proof edition sizes are very small - usually 20 prints or fewer. They are usually numbered in the same format as the artist’s proof, (example 1/20 PP).