Term used to describe a printed image that has been created directly by an artist on woodblocks, intaglio plates or lithographic stones. This makes it distinct from the print created by someone other than the artist, usually a professional printmaker, who copies the artist’s original design (see also Master printers and Prints, §I). In photography it refers to fine prints made from a negative shortly after exposure and development, by the photographer, as distinct from ones made at a later date, whether by the photographer or another printer.
From Grove Art Online
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