An original artwork suggests that the piece of art in question is unique. Whilst this is true when discussing paintings, drawings, and one-off or limited edition sculptures, it’s not necessarily the case when it comes to prints.
Original Prints vs. Reproductions
A reproduction is a print that has been produced from a digital copy of an original artwork.
Vice versa, an original print is not a copy of an existing artwork. There are many types of prints that are produced manually by the artist that are originals in their own right, including (but not limited to) screenprints, lithographs and etchings. The templates used during manual printing processes are destroyed immediately after the edition number has been reached. Unlike digitally produced prints, commonly referred to as giclées, handmade prints tend to be higher in price due to their labour-intensive and highly intricate process.
It’s important to note that some limited edition prints can also be reproductions if they are a replica of an original artwork. Even if the artist has signed, numbered or painted over the reproduction, it would still not be considered an original.