Original Print

DEFINITION of 'Original Print'

A work of art that is created using a master image carved into a durable material, such as stone. The artist uses the master image to create one or more impressions of the image. There are several methods of print making, including intaglio, relief, and planographic.

BREAKING DOWN 'Original Print'

Prints are one of the oldest forms of art, and original prints are prized by art collectors. The original print itself is considered a unique work of art, and is not a copy of another artistic work. If the original print is not used by the artist to create copies, the artist will often still provide supervision and sign off on the impression once made.

This type of print is often inherently a limited edition print due to the wear and tear placed on the plate used to make copies. Each copy is signed by the artist and given an edition number indicating how many total impressions were made, and which impression number the particular copy is. The master image is either destroyed or marked so as to prevent its reuse.