Vincent Van Gogh is one of the most famous painters from The Netherlands and is also one of the most influential post-impressionists of the history of Western art. I can bet, almost everyone has seen an image of Van Gogh’s masterpieces at least once in their life.
In an ideal world, if you want to have an original Van Gogh masterpiece on your living room, you go and buy one; but let’s face it only 1% of the world population can afford to do so. The rest of us can only dream to have an original, but there is another way around it: purchasing a fine art giclée print.
The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam holds the world’s largest collection of works by Vincent Van Gogh; here you can admire a permanent collection of his masterpieces.
There is a memorabilia store at the Van Gogh Museum, just like any other museum in the world, where you can buy Vincent Van Gogh themed objects and collectibles. But there is a difference; through the Van Gogh Museum you can actually buy Vincent Van Gogh fine art giclée prints.
But how is this possible? How are the Van Gogh Giclée Prints reproduced?
All the images of the masterpieces have been digitalized with top-of-the-line camera or scanner at the highest resolution to capture even the tiniest detail. This type of digitalization documents specific aspects such as brushstroke textures, lumps of paint, surface textures, etc. With all this information on the digital file, the result of the reproduction is almost identical to the original, and this is why a giclée print is so valuable.
Another important aspect is to choose the right media and size for your giclée print; it is advised to use acid free surfaces to guarantee a long lifespan of the print, such as: high quality paper, fine art watercolor paper or fine art canvas.
The Van Gogh Museum uses a Canon imagePrograf printer for it’s giclée prints, it can produce high quality prints onto both on paper or canvas. The Canon imagePrograf uses pigment archival inkjet inks that come in twelve colors: photo black, matte black, cyan, magenta, yellow, photo cyan, photo magenta, grey, photo grey, red, blue, chroma optimiser. This printer uses bubble jet (Canon, joint inventor of thermal heads has coined this term) printhead technology with a 4 picoliter drop size and prints at a 2,400 x 1200 dpi resolution.
When reproducing fine-art prints it is recommended to do a couple of print tests and compare them to the original, to see if the colors are the same and do pertinent adjustments to the file.
Depending on the media you select it is a good idea to choose the adequate finishing. For example you can choose to put a protective glass on top of your print to protect it from light and reflection or chose to varnish the print with a UV-light protective finish to enrich colors and protect against scratches. Some prefer to apply this sort of varnishes by hand but you can also opt to have them varnished with accessories. According to tests, giclée prints with pigment ink and this sort of finishing should be fade-resistant for at least one hundred years.
After printing and varnishing, the prints are later carefully mounted onto a base surface: paper prints can be fixed on polystyrene, cardboard, an aluminum plates or any other surface to hold them flat. On the other hand canvases might be stretched by hand on a wooden frame, these can be handmade by skilled craftsmen to give the giclée a more artisanal feel. It is advisable that frames are PEFC and FSC certified wooden frames to ensure sustainable forest management.
And last but not least you should choose a frame, there are many types of moldings in the market, but be sure to choose one that reflects the quality of the print. This does not mean you have to spend a fortune on the frame, but if you choose a cheap looking frame your giclée will look cheap as well.
As you can see, in a nutshell, it is pretty easy to obtain a fine art giclée print plus you can also ask for a certificate of authenticity with the signature of the Master Printer, so you can be sure it is authentic and certified.