By R. E. Acuna
Today's Internet technology is meeting the demand and growing popularity of fine art reproductions, and has afforded its visitors millions of pages of fine art to be viewed and researched. Fine art reproductions are an ever-increasing source of e-commerce popularity for the purchase of posters, prints, lithographs, Giclee prints and hand painted oil on canvases.
Fine art reproduction isn't a new process. It has been popular since the 18th Century. Reproductions have allowed artists to share their vision, artistic expression and communicate their ideas to a wide and diversified audience. Reproductions of famous sculpture, drawings and primarily paintings have afforded art lovers an alternative to owning an original work of art or a collection of art, otherwise not within their reach.
In the past, original works of art were created on leather, wood, canvas, stone, ivory and metal, and many of these works still survive today. Unfortunately, many works of art have not escaped the erosion of time, elements, lack of technical expertise, the proclivities of war and errant care. Reproductions were and still are an inevitable and necessary advent as they serve to ensure the longevity of an artist's work.
Major methods used to reproduce paintings:
A high volume process. The image is mechanically separated. Color fidelity is better than the photographic process, but color is still not accurate.
Least expensive in small quantities. Not printed on archival paper and is the least faithful in color fidelity.
Serigraph (silk screen) printing:
Recently popular in the past decades. A photo-mechanical process which is similar to photo-offset. Color fidelity is generally good.
Maintains many characteristics of original stone printing. There are not screen dots which break up the detail as with photo-offset or serigraph printing. Offers high quality continuous tone printing.
The Iris Giclee prints are created by spraying millions of droplets of natural dye onto your choice of the fine art material. The word Giclee is French for spray.
Hand painted oil canvases:
Oil paint is the practice of painting by using pigments, (powders or grains), suspended in oil; and the paint is applied to a canvas. Oils are possibly the most popular media because they have much versatility and durability.
Only a very select and exclusive group of private collectors can buy rare original art. Picasso's "Boy with a Pipe" (1905) from his Rose Period, set an auction record. It sold for $104 million to an unknown purchaser at Sotheby's, shattering the record for an auctioned painting. The previous record was Vincent van Gogh's (1890) "Portrait of Doctor Gachet", which sold to a Japanese billionaire for $82.5 million at Christies.
Thanks to the Internet, visitors can now research their favorite paintings from any school or period. They can also purchase a custom reproduction created to their specifications at high levels of quality and affordable price points.