The reproduction of artwork has seen a significant evolution over the centuries. From the woodblock methods used by the Chinese, to giclee reproduction of artwork, which uses a sophisticated computer printing method, there is much cause to applaud the pinacle of replication to which the craft has risen.
The earliest known form of printed replication was invented by the Chinese. However, their wood block printing had extreme limitations with the applications of colors. For this reason, even into the Renaissance period, craftsmen still preferred the human systematic recreations made by members of the guild. The advent of the printing press changed all of that. It gave rise to some new ideas about reproduction. Using a similar idea, Alois Senefelder created a process of chemical corroding of limestone that was able to create a reproduction of artwork at a level that was previously non-existent. Now, famous pieces of artwork were able to be replicated to a fair degree in large volume. Over time, this process has evolved to make use of metal corrosion and, eventually, photo lithography. Today, a new method, called giclee, can replicate pieces so closely resembling the originals that they are difficult to tell apart. With the use of technology, computer representations using specialized printers are paving the way for a common person to own a culturally significant piece at a reasonable price.
Many changes have occurred over the years with regards to methods used for reproduction of artwork pieces. They have been extremely beneficial. These modern processes have served to put fine works of culture into the hands of many people.