Ken, At the moment I don't have time to dig deeper, but go to http://www.breathingcolor.com/page/giclee-canvas-art-giclee-canvas and check the first paragraph. This reference is pretty superficial, but if you want to dig deeper you'll find that there are giclee techniques that almost exactly reproduce brushstrokes, etc. Let's face it, nowadays with 3d printing we can produce practically anything.
A lot of photographers call their inkjet prints made with pigmented inks "giclee," but real giclee goes way beyond that.
As I understand, Russ, in order to reproduce the physical 3-dimensionality of subtle layers of oil paint on a canvas, one would need to use the very elaborate processes of the new 3D printing techniques which seem to be mainly used, currently, to reproduce or make molds of 3-dimensional objects like sculptures, teapots, vases and dolls, or thermoplastic molds for manufacturing processes.
It's not clear to me whether the current 3D technology is up to the job of creating the very precise 3D mold of the surface of an oil or acrylic painting, and then transferring the precise shade of color onto each tiny and subtle brush stroke.
The following links show examples of the new 3D technology used for art reproductions. In the case of the reproduction of the Altarpiece of Guimerà, a huge 15th century master piece of a Catalan Gothic painting in Spain, which I assume because it's so huge has a relatively coarse texture, the 3D mold is created first, then a standard inkjet printer is used to print the colors onto a special type of flexible and elastic material called Papelgel which is subsequently applied or glued to the uneven surface of the mold, with great precision.http://www.guimera.info/avui/Retaule/article.pdfhttp://hyperallergic.com/44764/alfred-steiner-erased-schulnik-diptych/
But let's assume that such 3D printing technology will eventually develop, if it hasn't already, to the point where it's possible to reproduce the 3-dimensionality of the most subtle of brush strokes and apply the correct shade of color precisely to each individual brush stroke. Is this any different in concept to what has always been possible with the reproduction of photographic prints?
Even if a photographer claims to have destroyed the negative, or deleted the original RAW or Tiff file so that no more prints can be made, thus hoping to increase the value of the single, or the very few prints he has made, we all know how relatively easy it is to make a high-resolution scan of a flat print, if it's small enough, or in the case of Gursky's Rhine II, photograph the photograph with a high-resolution camera, employing stitching processes if necessary.
This is a point I made on the previous page, which I thought hadn't been addressed and which I repeat below."Another issue is the reproducibility of the Rhine II print. A photograph of a painting is still a photograph and the differences between the two can be easily discerned. But a photograph of a photograph can be visually indistinguishable from the original, without forensic testing."
Even if one can discern some subtle differences, using a magnifying glass, it may not be clear which is the original and which is the copy. When people own a valuable diamond they will often have a copy made which looks identical to the original to all but expert jewellers with magnifying glasses. The copy is worn by the lady of the house on special occasions, but the original is kept in the safe and no-one is the wiser.
However, forensic testing, and/or Carbon-14 dating in the case of old paintings, will usually reveal the original.