Leonard Joel

Your questions answered


Your questions answered
Artists have long supplemented their painting or sculpture practice by creating prints; original works, usually on paper, created in numbered editions. Here are four questions about Prints & Multiples that we’re often asked:

Q: Is a print numbered first in the edition more valuable than one numbered at ‘100’?
A: Works are printed one at a time, and each print is assigned an individual number, but the print editioned ‘1/100’ has the same value as the print that is ‘100/100’. The misconception that lower editions are more valuable dates back to more than 100 years ago when prints were made using copper plates. Copper is a soft metal, and as each edition was printed, the plate would compress in the press, and so the higher edition numbers would lack some of the detail of the first few editions. Often, editions are not numbered in the order in which they were printed, further de-emphasising the idea that an edition with a lower number is more valuable.

Q: Are prints just copies of an artist’s original work?
A: No, prints are neither copies nor posters. They are distinct works that are made independently. Prints are usually made with a plate, that is then transferred onto paper with ink, as many times as the edition requires. Printmaking allows exciting experimentation and is a crucial medium in many artists’ practice.

Q: How do I take care of my prints?
A: Because prints are typically on paper, they require some degree of care, whether they’re in storage or on a wall. They are best kept in a frame when on display and away from direct sunlight so they don’t fade or discolour. Think too, of rotating your prints from time to time to give them a rest. Humidity can also affect them, too high and prints may be damaged by mould, which causes small dark spots (also referred to as foxing). A general rule of thumb for prints is to keep them in a clean and well-ventilated area.

Q: Why is there such a difference in print prices?
A: It’s the same reason why the art market has such a wide range: it depends on the quality of the print, the popularity of subject matter, the artist, the complexity of how the print was made and the size of the edition. Traditionally, buying prints has been seen as a gateway into fine art collecting, and this is definitely true, however,  people acquire prints at all stages of their collecting journey, and at all different price levels.

Our next Prints & Multiples sale will be held in early March 2019.
We look forward to celebrating the work of some exceptional printmakers with you in the New Year.

Ella Perrottet
Art Assistant
03 8825 5630 | ella.perrottet@leonardjoel.com.au


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