The Art Cellar Exchange is distinguished by the scholarship of its curators who have over 40 years of experience working with fine art.

· General Terms
· Styles
· Printmaking
· Painting
· Sculpture



Artist Proof: Additional proofs from a print run that are not included in the regular edition. These prints are pulled for the artist approval and for personal use. These prints are also used to extend the edition beyond the original numbered run. Artist Proof works are marked AP either with or without a number that denotes how many were run.

Block Print: A relief-printing technique in which incisions made in a wood or linoleum block print white, and what is left in relief prints black.

Bon a Tirer: This is a French term which translates as "Good Pull". It denotes that the print that has just been pulled can be used as a guide to match up the remainder of the prints that are pulled in the edition.

Collagraph: A contemporary intaglio process in which prints are pulled from a block on which the design has been built up like a collage. Various objects are adhered to the block to build up the areas that will print white. The block is inked and then wiped so that the paper receives the ink from the depressions.

Commemorative: 1.Prints made posthumously from the artist's original plates. 2.Limited edition items made to commemorate a specific date or event.

Edition: A limited number of impressions of a print. When the edition is complete, the plate or block is often cancelled by defacing it.

Edition Number: A fraction found on the bottom left hand corner of a print. The top number is the sequence in the edition; the bottom number is the total number of prints in the edition. The number appears as a fraction usually in the lower left of the print. For instance the edition number 25/50 means that it is print number 25 out of a total edition of 50.

Engraving: A type of intaglio printing in which the plate is cut with a tool called a "graver" or "burin," which cuts a V-shaped trough. Engraved lines are cut so they are sharp and clean, and can be distinguished from etched lines, which are slightly irregular since they are bitten unevenly by the acid.

Etching: A form of intaglio printing in which the lines of the design are drawn on the metal plate and then bitten (etched or eaten away) by acid.

Facsimile Signed: The artist's signature is photo-mechanically reproduced and applied to the print. These signatures tend to look hand signed, but upon closer examination reveal a composition of tiny dots that are indicative of its unoriginal status.

Hors Commerce: This French term literally translates as "before business." Originally an Hors Commerce print was used as the color key and printing guide which the printer would use to insure consistency of the print run. Hors Commerce pieces are designated by the letters H.C. written on the print itself. These pieces are usually printer's proofs that are not for sale and are often used for promotional purposes. H.C. designations can also be used to extend the run of the edition.

Intaglio: All-metal plate engraving and etching processes in which the printing areas are recessed, i.e., the lines that form the design are cut into the surface. The plate is inked and then wiped so that the paper receives the ink from the incised lines and not from the surface of the plate.

Lithograph: A process in which proofs are pulled on a special litho-press from a flat surface that is chemically sensitized to take ink only on the design areas and to repel it on the blank areas.

Mezzotint: A reverse-engraving procedure in which the entire surface of a copper or steel plate is heavily abraded with a tool called a "rocker" or "cradle." The resulting surface, called the "burr," prints as a dark, velvety black. White areas are made by burnishing and scraping the burr to create smooth, depressed areas which will not take the ink. Half-tones are created by partially burnishing and scraping the burr.

Mixographia: A graphic process in which a wax slab is used instead of the conventional metal plate or stone. This process enables flexibility and enables the artist to use a full range of painting abilities resulting in a variety of textures. The artist creates a collage or maquette out of various materials, such as charred wood, rope, cotton and other natural substances. After the image is worked in wax, it is fixed by electroplating. The wax is then melted away and the delicate electroplate is reinforced on the positive side with a soft lead plate mounted on copper. The result is a positive rather than a reverse print. Color is then added by hand and the end result is a colored and textured three-dimensional print on handmade paper.

Monoprint: A one-of-a-kind print made by painting on a sheet of glass or metal, and transferring the still-wet painting to a sheet of paper. Enough of the original paint remains on the plate after the transfer so that the same or different colors can be reapplied to make subsequent prints, but no two prints will be exactly alike.

Original Print: A print made from the original plate, block, stone, screen, etc. which the artist has created and printed from himself.

Paper: Archival prints are done on rag paper. It is Ph-balanced, and it bends rather than breaking or cracking. Arches is the most commonly used brand-name of rag paper. If a print is done on Arches paper, you will probably be able to see the Arches watermark by holding the print up to the light.

Pencil Signed: A signature that is written by the hand of the artist, in pencil. The signature is usually located in the lower right portion of the work, below the image in the white margin. A pencil-signed print bears original status.

Plate Signed: Prints in which the artist's signature is put onto the plate itself, and then transferred to the print through the same process as the rest of the design.

Photogravure: Prints in which the original image is photographed through a finely cross-ruled screen onto copper-plates, the margins and non-printing areas of the plate are covered with acid resist and the plate is then etched. A type of intaglio printmaking. In this method the proofs are pulled on dry paper through an etching press. Also called Heliogravure.

Pochoir: A stencil and stencil-brush process used to make multicolor prints, for tinting black and white prints, and for coloring reproductions and book illustrations, especially fine and limited editions. Pochoir, which is the French word for stencil, is sometimes called hand coloring or hand illustration. This process was much used in Paris during the early decades of the 20th century. Especially popular in the art deco period, used for fashion plates amoungst other things.

Remarque: A sketch made by the artist on the margin of an etched plate, often unrelated to the main composition.

Serigraph: Silkscreen print whose color areas are paint films rather than printing-ink stains. The direct technique is versatile enough to produce an unlimited range of colors and depths, which justifies to some extent the opinion that serigraphy is as much a painter's as a printmaker's medium.

Tirage: Complete print documentation given to the buyer upon purchase of a print. The "who, what, where, when, and how many" of the print.


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