Reproduction: Original or Copy?

Many people prefer to buy original paintings and not reproductions. Of course, buying an original painting has pros and cons.

First, the original painting is a work of art in the conventional sense. That is, its cultural and material value usually increases over time. Simply put, as the years go by the painting’s worth becomes more expensive. This advantage is valued by all art collectors, though it becomes a disadvantage for an average buyer who wants to create a beautiful interior at an affordable price.

Second, some original paintings do not have digital copies, so it is impossible to make a printed reproduction. Contemporary artists often prefer to print reproductions of their paintings themselves. These works are called «Giclee». A giclee is a regular reproduction that is signed by the artist and has a limited edition print run. But a simple signature on the print is unlikely to improve the painting so the difference between a giclee and a regular reproduction ends up being insignificant.

The use of giclee technology by the artists is well-known, as manufactured printed copies of paintings is a sensible decision for many artists. It may take a few years to paint a picture, and sometimes selling it to one person is not always the best option. Why should the artist deprive other fans of the opportunity to acquire one of his or her works? As it turns out, giclee prints resemble engravings, which are recognized as another well-known way to reproduce an artist’s work. For example, when making reproductions of da Vinci’s paintings we get a copy of the artist’s work, though it lacks a certificate of authenticity, which is unnecessary for the majority of buyers of art reproductions. Also, while you can go to the local art market and buy a picture painted by a local artist, sometimes a very good one, you cannot buy original works by world famous artists, such as Van Gogh, Monet, Picasso, Klimt or Dali. They usually belong to museums or private collections.

But modern technology allows you to the ability to order a reproduction and have it on your wall within a few days.

There is also a third option: you can order a copy of a Van Gogh painting from a local artist. This option is the most absurd. If you appreciate the local artist, buy an original piece they created. Ordering a famous painting reproduced by someone other than the original artist is like asking a friend who studies language to retell a story by Edgar Allen Poe or Shakespeare. The retelling — or in this case, painting reproduction — may be similar to the original, but there will still be noticeable differences. Another artist’s copy of an original work will have something the artist has added themselves, such as personal characteristic of their attitude, sensibility, or understanding. What makes the original painting special will be omitted.

A reproduction, on the other hand, lacks these disadvantages, because a printer will «dispassionately» print anything. It will add nothing of its own. Modern printing technology on canvases allows for the creation of replica images that are indistinguishable from the original painting.

The choice will still be up to you. Make the right one.