If you collect art or enjoy decorating your walls with paintings, you might be wondering what the difference is between art prints and oil painting reproductions. These terms are used interchangeably in the art world often, but they can differ greatly. Knowing the difference is important when you’re considering an art purchase.
Art Prints Defined
Art prints are identical copies of original works of art, often produced by a photomechanical process. The word “giclee” is used to describe the method of reproducing art using a printing process. Making prints is similar to making a photocopy of a hand-written letter instead of rewriting it. You have a copy of the handwriting, but not an actual hand-written letter. Artists often create prints in limited editions, and sign each painting. Prints are coveted by collectors who wish to invest in art for future profits.
Oil Painting Reproductions Defined
Oil painting reproductions are hand-painted recreations of original works of art, created by someone other than the original artist. A skilled artist analyzes the original and paints a closely matching replica. Reproductions are painted with oil paint on canvas to create an amazing resemblance to originals. Reproductions are often preferred over prints when used in decor because they are usually very affordable.
When searching for art, you might encounter these terms being used interchangeably. For instance, a print might be called a reproduction also. Technically, a print is a reproduction because it is a copy. However, a reproduction might not always mean “print.” If you feel the term reproduction is being used to describe a print, you might want to ask questions before buying to be sure you’re getting the right type of painting.
In a nutshell, art reproductions are actual paintings, only not by the original artist. Prints are copies of the original work. If you want real paintings without a high investment, reproductions provide both. If you’re looking to invest for future profits or to build a collection, and are unable to buy an original, prints are the next best thing.