Do Replicas Hold any Value?

When it comes to paintings, sculptures or any other form of art the original always holds tremendous more value than any reproduction or replica.  That begs the question do replicas hold any value.  The answer is yes and no.  While prints are often thought of as just copies of a more valuable piece of art and not worth investing in there are some exceptions to that rule.  Prints by Picasso and Toulouse-Lautrec have sold for more than seven figures.

Why Buy Prints or Replicas?

For most people original art work is well out of their price range but that doesn’t mean that they can’t appreciate the beauty of the artists’ creations.  Prints allow you to gaze at a Michelangelo or a Rembrandt on the walls of your home without having to be a billionaire.  Not only that but you can line your walls with every painting done by Picasso.

Prints Or Reproductions

Not all art prints are reproductions of old masters or some other famous artists.  There are plenty of photographers and other artists that specialize in prints.  Original prints are different from those that are just copies of someone else’s work.  Copies of another artists work are referred to as reproductions and those don’t really hold any value.  Prints on the other hand are original pieces of an artist’s work and usually there are a limited number of prints available and that will add to the price and the future value of a print.

Signed Prints

Artists will sign their work in the bottom corner of a piece of art, this indicates the artist takes credit and ownership of the work.  Signatures are one of the ways of determining the creator of a piece and to verify its authenticity.  Signed prints can have two signatures by the artist.  When you are buying a print that has been signed by the artist it is going to be worth more.

Limited Edition Prints

When prints are made they are produced in editions, much like books.  Each edition contains a certain number of prints.  You have unlimited edition prints where the work will continue to be printed as long as it sells.  The other option are limited edition prints where there can be 2 or thousands of prints.  Prints from limited editions command larger prices than unlimited print runs.

Replicas may not be an investment in art however that doesn’t mean replica art pieces can’t be used to decorate your home and to give you pleasure.  If you can stretch your budget to some limited edition prints that might be a better investment.

What is a Replica?

What is a replica?  It is effectively a copy of a piece of art made by a famous artist meant to be identical to the original.  If you have ever been to a museum gift shop you will find plenty of replicas of famous art pieces for sale inside.  A good replica will bring the piece of art to life and allow you to see and touch it where you cannot touch the original.  Try touching the original Mona Lisa in the Louvre and you will find yourself in a French prison very quickly.  You will find plenty of replicas of that and other famous paintings or pieces of art all over the world.

Is it Exactly Like the Original?

Replicas and reproductions are meant to look exactly like the originals, but there are some differences.  For example you can buy posters of famous paintings almost everywhere and while they capture the same images and colors they do not adequately capture the fine detail or the brush strokes of the original.  It is simply not the same.

Hand painted replicas are more than just transferring a photographic image onto a large piece of paper they are much better than that.  These are hand painted by artists who have spent years studying their craft and learning the same techniques that the original painter used.  Many are indistinguishable from the original unless you are an art expert yourself.  These paintings are near museum quality, in fact there has been more than one replica or forgery discovered in museums all over the world.

Not Just Paintings that are Replicated

It is not just paintings that are replicated and sold as curios it all kinds of different pieces of art from tapestries to bronze statues.  For instance replica sculptures are created all the time to decorate homes and businesses.  These are made using the “lost wax method”.  This method of casting bronze dates back more than 6,000 years.  In the early days the statues were made from solid bronze for nearly 4,000 years until artist discovered how to make them hollow.  Good replicas, those that aren’t mass produced are often made using the same techniques of the original artists.

Is this Legal

Actually yes it is completely legal.  A reputable museum will emphasize the fact that they are replicas of the original, they are long passed out of copyright and are part of the public domain.  You can still brighten up your home with classic looking pieces of art  when the original is way out of your budget.

Aging Your Canvas

There is nothing quite like the paintings of the “Old Masters” many of which are priceless works of art that none of us will ever be able to own.  Even those that are in museums we don’t get to lay eyes on near enough.  Old paintings have an indescribable quality to them that you just don’t find in modern work.  Not only are the paintings exquisitely done, you also need to understand how artists had none of the modern tools that artists work with today.  Artists stretched their own canvases, mixed their own paints and these pieces of art have survived for more than 500 years in some cases.

Copying the techniques used back then can take you years to learn.  There are shortcuts to make your paintings look and feel as old as a piece of art from the 15th century.  Forgers and artists who specialize in reproductions have been using these techniques to create prints that look just like the originals.  Let’s have a look at aging your canvas to look like an old master.

Tools You Need

Here are some of the things that you are going to need to age your canvas:

  • 5 to 10 teabags
  • Hot water
  • Thin brush
  • Fan brush
  • Cracking varnish
  • Gold oil paint

One of the easiest ways to stain your canvas and make it look old is with plain old tea.  You will need to soak between five and ten tea bags in hot water and then apply them to your canvas.  You want to stain your canvas before you start painting on it. This will give your painting that sepia tone of really old paintings making it look like it aged naturally.   Smear the bags over the canvas in a couple of different directions and then let your canvas dry naturally overnight.  Here is a look at how to stain your canvases.

Cracking Your Varnish

Once you have completed your painting it is going to need a coat of varnish.  You will also need to capture the look of varnish that has faded and cracked with time.  You will apply a coat of cracking varnish that you can get at almost any art store using a very fine brush.  The varnish will crack as it dries, but to make it look old you will have to add a very thin layer of gold paint with a fan brush so that the cracks stand out.  After that you will have to apply a final coat of varnish and let it dry for a couple of days.  There you have it, an aged painting!

Finding Canvas Art Reproductions

If you are trying to find some really good reproductions of classic or renaissance art then you have probably turned to the internet to find some great pieces to hang on your walls.  Finding pieces that are well done and at a fair price isn’t easy.  There are plenty of reproduction companies in Asia that will offer “museum” quality paintings for less than $100.  You simply cannot get good art for that price, reproductions or not.  Finding canvas art reproductions that are good quality is harder than you’d think, but fortunately we are here to help.

The Price

If you want a hand painted reproduction of one of the old masters or even something a little newer then you can expect to pay for it.  Just because one artist is copying the style of another doesn’t negate their time and talent.  While you can get some very cheap reproductions they probably won’t be done on canvas or they will be mass produced by machines rather than hand painted.  You want a reproduction to not only look like the original but to have it painted in the same style as the original.

Check Portfolios

If you are shopping online for a canvas reproduction and you’re trying to determine good reproductions from bad the first thing you want to do is to check out their portfolio of work.  This will give you an idea of the type of work they do along with the quality.  If they don’t have anything on their site for you to look at you have two options.  The first is to ask for some samples to be emailed to you and the other is to keep shopping.  Any artist not willing to show the quality of their work doesn’t deserve your money.  Most likely the reason they won’t show you the reproductions they do is because the quality is inferior.  Time to keep looking.

Quality of the Canvas

It is not just the quality of the art work you need to be concerned about you also need to make sure they are using good quality materials including the right canvases.  There are huge differences between the different types of canvases available from the cheap nylon canvases to the much better quality linen canvases.  Again price will reflect the quality of the materials being used. If you want a good quality replica canvas painting then take your time to shop around and find a reputable artist who can do the work for you.