The advances of modern technology have improved nearly everyone’s quality of life. But, in the realm of multiple fine art production, something has been sacrificed along the way: Quality of art.
Today’s high-speed photographic printing processes, and today’s high-tech computer print outs reproducing paintings (called “giclees”), are “pictures”. They are not “art”. These pictures take the finest works, the most inspired of images, and reduce them to either dots or to slick, lifeless digitized images. Mechanistic and bland, they scarcely convey the beauty, depth, and subtle inner feelings of the artist’s original vision. (Compare this process to a man kissing a pretty woman through a veil). Regrettably, most of today’s artists and art publishers resort to these processes because they are cheap, quick, easy to manufacture; and because they believe that un-compromised aesthetics in multiple fine art are a thing of the past.
Rue Royale Fine Art is changing all that. Our mission is to produce extraordinary editions of original fine art lithographs, using traditional, historic techniques honored by the greatest master artists of the 19th and 20th Century. At Rue Royale our direct lithographs are works of hands-on craftsmanship. Our 13,000-square-foot atelier in Las Vegas, Nevada, is one of only a handful of true lithography ateliers left in the world, a place where there remains specialized historic equipment and a highly experienced staff of printer/artisans capable of performing these time-honored, fine art printing methods.
Artists and publishers from all over the world, who seek the finest quality there is, come to work at Rue Royale Fine Art. There they discover an atmosphere of creativity and dedication to art, and they experience the rewards of our “low-tech” approach: magnificent artworks of pure, vibrant color; rich texture; subtle nuances; superb aesthetic merit.
At the heart of Rue Royale are five extremely rare, made-in-Paris Marinoni Voirin editioning presses. Each is over 100 years old. As far as we can determine, there are only seven of these magnificent machines left in the world, and we are the proud owner of five of them. (We are continually trying to purchase the remaining two.) Originally powered by steam and later converted to electricity, these gorgeous flatbed presses are the same machines used in the legendary 19th and early 20th Century ateliers of Paris to produce original works of lithographic multiple fine art by great masters such as Alphonse Mucha, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Joan Miro, Henri Mattisse, Alexander Calder, and many more. But, their value goes far beyond novelty or nostalgia: Like the unequalled sound of a centuries-old Stradivarius violin, the breath-taking quality produced by these historic presses is unmatched by any of today’s reproduction technology.
The largest of the French presses has a bed size of 31″ x 47″ (grand aiguille), weighs 11 tons and dates back to the 1860’s. The other four range in weight from six tons to nine tons. All are expertly maintained and are in excellent condition. Also available are Charles brand manually operated proofing presses and three rare German-made flatbed offset presses capable of producing large-format lithography editions of up to 60″ x 72″.
The artist, or a skilled chromist under the artist’s direction, carefully hand-draws the design onto a Mylar surface. A separate surface is drawn, by hand, for each color to be in the finished print. Directly from these hand-drawn mylar surfaces, metal plates are created by transference.
Master artisans slowly hand-pull each impression from these metal plates on one of the Atelier’s rare lithography presses. The paper is then pulled many times, one color at a time, one pull for each color.
Next, the curating department carefully examines and numbers each final lithograph sequentially in pencil, making certain that each and every one is perfect. Imperfect prints are discarded and are never part of the edition. Finally, the artist carefully checks each print for quality and perfection before signing each print by hand. If there is the slightest imperfection, that print will be pulled from the edition.
Rue Royale Fine Art is located at 5530 S. Valley View Blvd. Las Vegas, Nevada, in a 13,000 square foot facility. The Atelier’s Master Printer, Daniel Leeland Woodward has over 20 years’ experience in the production of limited-edition fine art lithographs and was mentored by world-renown chromist, Jean-Pierre Remond.
The Master printers, artists, and artisan printers of Rue Royale Fine Art invite you to visit our facility, and to step back in time to experience, first hand how great multiple fine art is created. Experience breathtaking fine art in a new way: the old way!