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What Is A Giclee Canvas Print Reproduction?

By Emily Miller-Jee

Giclee canvas prints are printed on either archival fine art paper or artist’s canvas and using archival quality inks. High quality digital art files are used to produce prints that closely match the original art work.

If you would like your giclee print to have the look of an original oil painting on canvas or board, then you should order a giclee canvas print and display the print without glass. Alternatively if you would like to display your print behind glass then you should order an archival fine art paper print. Giclee canvas prints and giclee paper prints are on display at some of the world’s leading art galleries, such as the New York Museum of Modern Art.

Genres such as seascapes, landscapes, equine prints, canine prints and old portraits tend to work very well as giclee canvas prints, whereas old illustrations or lithographs from books that were originally printed on paper tend to work better on archival fine art paper. Examples of old book illustrations that work well on fine art paper include the illustrations from the Beatrix Potter books for children’s nurseries.

Most reputable companies which produce giclee canvas prints produce the prints using archival inks, which mean that the inks will not deteriorate for 100 years or more when displayed indoors and some inks are certified for longer than that. Giclee canvas prints are often then coated with an acrylic varnish by brush to give the print some of the texture of the original painting. You should always check to make sure that the print is produced using these methods to make sure that your print can be around as a family heirloom for generations to come.

Adding a brushed varnish coating usually works well when the original was an oil, acrylic or watercolor painting, where the artist’s original brushstrokes were evident. A brushed varnish coating does not tend to work so well for photographic reproductions on canvas however as the original did not display any brushwork. For photograph reproductions on canvas it is preferable for the print company to either spray the varnish coating (in controlled conditions) or use one of the high quality pre-coated canvas materials (such as Epson’s pre-coated gloss canvas) that work well to protect the print without a separate varnish coating.

Most giclee canvas print companies offer to send you your giclee canvas print either ‘stretched’ or ‘unstretched’. A canvas print is stretched when it is attached over a wooden stretcher frame (like a skin over drum). A canvas print needs to be stretched before it can be framed. If you order an unstretched canvas print online then you will need to have your local frameshop stretch it for you before it can be framed. The shipping cost will usually be cheaper for unstretched prints however, as they are usually shipped rolled in a tube.

Gallery-wrapping a canvas allows the print to be hung on the wall without a frame. Gallery-wrapping is also sometimes called museum-wrapping. When a canvas print is gallery-wrapped, it is stretched over an internal wooden stretcher frame in the way described above, but before stretching a block of color is added around the edge of the original art so that the colors of the print wrap around the edges of the stretcher frame. The finished gallery-wrapped canvas can then be hung as a panel on your wall, without showing any white canvas along the side edges of the print. If the print were not gallery-wrapped in this way then white canvas would otherwise show around the edges of the panel, and the piece would not look finished.

It is not necessary to gallery-wrap your canvas print if you know for certain that you intend to frame the print, because the sides of the stretched canvas will always be completely hidden by the frame. A gallery-wrapped canvas print can always however be framed later, in the same way as a stretched print would be, so if you would like the flexibility to display your canvas print either framed or unframed, then you should purchase a gallery-wrapped canvas print.

Giclee prints on archival fine art paper are not stretched or varnished in the same way as canvas prints are and they are generally intended to be mounted under glass, often surrounded by an archival card matte, through which the print is displayed. Before purchasing a giclee print on paper, you should however confirm that the print will be produced on archival paper.

When we refer to archival fine art paper we mean paper that has been produced without the use of chlorine or other chemicals that could deteriorate the paper (and therefore the print) over time. Fine art paper prints work well where the original art was a watercolor or was on paper in an old book or lithograph. In any event a good printer should be able to reproduce the ageing of the paper that the original art was produced on in the reproduction.

Even if you decide that you would like the ageing of the original paper that the original art was produced on replicated (for example the ageing of the paper in an old book illustration) then you should still ensure that the paper used for the reproduction is archival. You may also request your printer to convert an original that was in color into black and white or sepia. This can be particularly striking if you plan on displaying a group of art by the same artist in a grouping.

Please do not hestitate to contact me or any of the Encore Editions team should you have any questions.

Looking to find the best quality and prices for Giclee Canvas Prints, then visit www.encore-editions.com to view our superb range of custom-printed 15th Century to Early 20th Century Fine Art Prints for your space at wholesale prices.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Miller-Jee, Emily "What Is A Giclee Canvas Print Reproduction?." What Is A Giclee Canvas Print Reproduction?. 21 Jun. 2010. uberarticles.com. 8 Aug 2014 <http://uberarticles.com/arts-and-entertainment/what-is-a-giclee-canvas-print-reproduction/>.

APA Style Citation:
Miller-Jee, E (2010, June 21). What Is A Giclee Canvas Print Reproduction?. Retrieved August 8, 2014, from http://uberarticles.com/arts-and-entertainment/what-is-a-giclee-canvas-print-reproduction/

Chicago Style Citation:
Miller-Jee, Emily "What Is A Giclee Canvas Print Reproduction?" uberarticles.com. http://uberarticles.com/arts-and-entertainment/what-is-a-giclee-canvas-print-reproduction/


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