How to Tell an Original Oil Painting from a Replica

Published: Jun 23, 2014 | Category: Art

Art is expensive as we all know. Some pieces can literally cost a fortune such as works by Da Vinci or Picasso. For this reason, replicas are produced to cut down on the costs of these pieces of art. Replicas are generally a lot more affordable than the real deal. The quality of course will not be the same as the original paintings but will be graphic or image itself will be of the original painting. This is actually what matters the most. People admire the graphic itself and are willing to buy replicas because they do not want to pay the hefty price of the real deal. Depending on your budget and what you prefer, decide if you want an original piece or work or a replica. Here are some ways you can tell if a piece of art is original or a reproduction:

  • Carefully remove the backing of the painting and place painting up to the light you can see that there are different layers of paint. When you are able to see this, you can be sure that your painting is an original. Oil based paints are applied in layers so if you can see the layers under the light, you will know you have a good painting.
  • Examine underneath the painting and see if there are uneven lines and strokes, if not they are likely produced by a machine. Reproductions are usually mass produced and will likely have clean, crisp lines.
  • Use a magnifying glass to examine the front of the piece of art. Look for printing machine pixels that are pretty obvious. If you see any apparent dots, you will know that the piece is a reproduction.
  • Usually, originally pieces have some sort of texture, so if your piece is completely flush and does not feature raised surfaces, you can know your piece is a replica.
  • Notice the brush strokes on your piece of art. If you can see them, chances are they are original. If not, they are probably reproductions.

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