Definitions and terms used in the fine arts print field have been varied. The older, even sometimes archaic, meanings are not necessarily the same today. There are terms that are quite colloquial to a locality. Then we have the user's interpretation whether artist, publisher, gallery, curator, museum, collector or consumer. We hope this glossary is of some assistance.
A display area for fine art.
Generally describing the type, style, class or everyday life as depicted in a work of art.
The directions in which the majority of paper fibers are oriented, and the axis along which paper tears most easily.
The term used to describe a fine art print, generally a limited edition.
A method of printing with etched or engraved plates (see Intaglio, Copperplate, Photogravure, Rotogravure).
A waxy, acid-resistant coating on a metal etching plate.
A method of photographic reproduction using a screen to render tonal gradations by varying densities of dots.
Colors which have been added to an image (usually by hand) after it has been printed. Watercolor is commonly used.
See Hand-Colored. The term hand-tinted may also be used to describe coloring done using stencils.
Hors Commerce
Not for sale. (French)

The area of a composition on the paper. The representation of a concept or an object on paper or other material.

IMP, Impress It
"Has Printed It." (Latin)
The term used to describe the pressing of plates on paper, and all copies printed in a single edition.
INC Incisit
"Has Engraved It." (Latin)

The unauthorized copying of a work of art.

Commonly, a colored liquid used for writing and drawing. Printing inks are generally thicker and viscous. Inks may be permanent, (non-fading), or may fade in time.
A term used to describe a design incised below a plate's surface. (see also Etching and Engraving)
Issue Price
The retail price of a print at its publication date.
INV. Invenit
"Has Designed It." (Latin)
Japan Paper
Also called 'Japon,' this is a paper composed of mulberry fiber, usually manufactured in Japan.
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