original print

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The problem of defining what constitutes an ‘original print’ has given rise to much debate, not least with regard to the art of the 19th and 20th centuries. The division of labour between the artist who creates the original design and the specialist printer who facilitates the production of the print lies at the heart of the matter. The industrialization of the reproduction of images and the invention of photomechanical techniques have also blurred the boundaries of definition. With techniques such as etching it is normally the artist himself who carries out all stages of the printmaking process. However, lithography or screenprinting, for example, usually involve a collaboration between artist and printer. Various international committees have met in attempts to standardize terminology, but it is perhaps wisest to maintain the utmost flexibility when tackling this vexing question.

Subjects: Art.

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