What is a giclee artwork and how do I care for one?

What is a Giclee Artwork?

Giclee (pronounced “zshee-clay”) is a French word which means “squirt” or “spurt”. This process was developed in the 1990’s as an application of ink jet printing technology.

Many digital archival quality and museum grade art reproductions use the giclee process. A much higher quality reproduction is possible than by following traditional lithography methods. Also, high grade pigmented inks can give a giclee brightness and color accuracy much closer to the original work.

Fine art giclee reproductions often are printed on canvas for original oil paintings and on watercolor papers for original watercolor or pen and ink drawings.

How do I care for a giclee?

Best to treat your giclee fine art reproduction like any watercolor original. So do not place it in direct sunlight or expose it to temperature extremes. Paper giclees can be laminated (on the front only) to help deal with UV light sensitivity, help maintain the artwork color, and protects the surface of the artwork as well. Best to avoid all abrasion, water and cleaning chemicals. Hang a giclee without mat or glass to best show off the incredible similarity to the original artwork. However, if lots of fingerprints will be touching the surface (our hands contain oil that can damage the surface) and your giclee is not already laminated, it would be best to cover it with a layer of glass or plexi.