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Original Print

An original print is a piece of artwork which is created and printed by the artist himself or by someone under the direct supervision of the artist. It is printed from a matrix which is usually a block, plate or stone, created by the artist with the lone purpose of producing an artwork out of it. A number of impressions can be taken, after which the matrix is destroyed. Each impression is signed and numbered by the artist, called the limited edition prints. An original print is not necessarily one of a kind, rather a one of a kind original print is called a monoprint. When the printing process is carried out mechanically by a professional printer and the artist has no role in it other than creating the original, the print produced is called a reproduction.

Francisco de Goya, El sue-o de la razon produce monstruos (The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters), Plate 43 from the series Los Caprichos (Caprices), 1799, etching and aquatint, 21.7 x 15.3 cm