I hang it on my wall...
August 27, 2009 8:56 AM   Subscribe

I have a piece of art and I’m trying to find out what to call it (print, reprint, etching, lithograph)? Hope me?

It is by an Italian artist named Ignazio Sclopis and it looks like this, but isn't the original. Original was painted in the 1700s. However, my piece is on very thick paper and has a raised symbol of a paintbrush next to the artist's signature, who is not Sclopis. Basically, it looks very old and legit, but I know it's not the original. What is it?
posted by bunny hugger to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Is your version actually painted? like, can you identify individual brush strokes? or is it evenly textured throughout?
posted by Think_Long at 8:59 AM on August 27, 2009

might just be a painted reproduction?
posted by edgeways at 9:02 AM on August 27, 2009

Best answer: Well, it says:
Aquarelado hecho a mano con colores rigurosamente naturales.
Técnica de realización del planisferio: Incisión en cobre.
This means (approximately)
Hand-colored with natural colors (must be water color, so likely no brush strokes visible)
Printing technique: copper engraving.

You can see the latter clearly in how the clouds are made. Of course, in copper prints, there is no "Original". You'd have to find out whether yours was printed from the original plate or is simply a modern reproduction of some sort.
If you, in your ex, actually can feel the edges of the plates with your fingers, you might have an original colored engraving.
(Lithographs were anyway invented in the late 18th century, so that's too late).
posted by Namlit at 9:38 AM on August 27, 2009

Well to give you some more specific definitions basically etchings, lithographs and even reprints are all prints. Therefore the safest way to describe the object at hand is as a print. I used to work in the print department of a major US art museum and it can be really difficult to tell exactly what type of print you have even when the work is right in front of you; it is almost impossible to do so from a description or a photograph (unless the work is a "known edition" that you can find in a reference source. On way to go is to do research on Sclopis on the chance that the later reproductions of his work have been documented?

If you really want or need to know exactly what type of print you own, I'd suggest calling your nearest art museum and asking if the print curator is willing to take a look at it. We used to have an authentications day once a month (it was so popular that we had to restrict it to members) where people brought in prints and we tried to identify the artist and the process. A great online reference for printing processes is the Digital Sample Book.

Good luck
posted by kaybdc at 9:43 AM on August 27, 2009

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