Reproductions of oil paintings
August 9, 2004 3:59 PM   Subscribe

Oil painting reproductions...

Although it's probably not the greatest piece of art by some of your standards, I have recently become interested in obtaining a print or reproduction of a Frederic Church landscape entitled "Aurora Borealis."

The interest came to me after my girlfriend bought me an interesting book on the Aurora and the Church painting was on the cover. I went online to see if there were any prints or oil reproductions and I found this one on Ebay:

My question is as follows: I have never purchased things like this. First off, is the quality of such a reproduction any good? Considering there are no other options, I'm in a bind with that one. Another question, is the price fair?

Shit, I meant to put everything else in a (More Inside). Sorry Matt.
posted by crazy finger to Media & Arts (9 answers total)
$30 sounds right for a reproduction, and as quality goes --- in my opinion it is "good". Nothing you'd want to stare at gallery style as reproductions lack a certain life the originals do, also if you have any friends who are sick fucks like I am, they'll recognize it right off the bat as reproduction. I spotted a large Andy Warhol painting that I was unfamiliar with (a very un-Warhol like painting) and immediately asked "there's something not right, is this a reproduction?" It was and I didn't even know the painting. Most people won't recognize it as reproduction, or if they do they don't say anything because a lot of people have reproductions (Thomas Kincade anyone?).

I refuse to jump onto the art snobber ship and only will hope that this painting will get you to start collecting original artworks. I'm going to say flat out that if you buy any Kincade paintings I will have to find your mother and do unspeakable things to her. I am sorry it would be for your own good.
posted by geoff. at 4:30 PM on August 9, 2004

A giclée (zhee-clay) is a high end reproduction. They're a bit faddish right now in the art market, having filtered down to non-collectors. You're essentially buying a well done poster.

The resale value of giclée prints is negligible especially if the print isn't signed or numbered (and arguable if it is). Thirty bucks for a small giclée sounds about right if you really want the thing. If you wait a few years, or possibly a half a year it might drop even more. But it probably won't ever be the same price as a regular poster.

My only warning would be to find out if you're really buying a giclée print since you can't tell via a photo. If you're just buying a poster then you are getting ripped at $30.
posted by raaka at 4:31 PM on August 9, 2004

Response by poster: I definitely will start collecting original works ONE DAY, but I am flat broke and need a job first. Also, I'm poor. Seriously though, I'm the one that needs a patron at this point. I simple liked the look of the painting and wanted it. I will take it, from what you tell me, that that's ok for now and that it isn't too lame or unrespectable.
posted by crazy finger at 5:07 PM on August 9, 2004

glicee means it's printed on an inkjet printer (hopefully a good quality one) (if i remember a discussion here from earlier). the feedback looks ok and the price isn't excessive for a decent quality print.

[on preview, the description of glicee as inkjet here]
posted by andrew cooke at 5:08 PM on August 9, 2004

a frame (nearly) always makes a huge difference to how nice things look. we bought a print not long back and i found a frame in the local diy superstore that was a bit larger for $25. i took the frame home, opened it up, removed the print it came with, cut a piece of mat card (that thick card that makes a window round the print) myself, and reassembled with our print in place - looks great and cost a lot less than getting a custom frame made.

also, i wouldn't sweat the print v original thing. i don't know anyone that cares. we have both - generally prints are of famous paintings you could never own, and originals are unknown and don't exist as prints anyway. just get what you like.
posted by andrew cooke at 5:44 PM on August 9, 2004

Compared to this, figure you are getting a deal.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:29 PM on August 9, 2004

A good giclee print is good. I'd ask to see better pictures if the price is worth worrying about for you. We are selling some at the gift shop at the museum where I work and they generally go for about $35 or so, so the price is not unreasonable. Our cost from the printer is $15-20 in quantities of 100 or so.

FWIW, I think it's a pretty cool picture.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 9:49 PM on August 9, 2004

"These high quality reproductions are sold in art galleries for hundreds of dollars."

Obviously, I'm in the wrong business...
...but $30 for a print that size, if it's from a half-decent printer, doesn't seem outrageous.
posted by normy at 9:53 PM on August 9, 2004

The company I used to work for sells, as part of their line, fine-art reproductions with inscription plates attached. We used to get hand-copied reproductions of Rembrants, VanGoghs, etc. from artists in China. The quality wouldn't fool anybody who'd actually seen the paintings in question, but they were quite good nonetheless.

EvilCompanyFilter: We got the paintings for under US$15/ea, added $.25 of etched zince, and resold for several hundred dollars
posted by nathan_teske at 12:59 AM on August 10, 2004

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