Compared to the few million dollars it costs for a genuine Picasso or van Gogh, then you might be apt to call reproduction paintings the “poor man’s art”. It all depends on your definition of poor. The truth of the matter is reproduction art is a very affordable and reputable way to build an extensive and sometimes valuable art collection.
So how can reproduction art be so wonderful and even valuable? First, it is important not to confuse reproductions with prints, which are merely copies of the original. Prints come in the form of posters so they are not actual paintings. Reproductions are created by a highly talented artist. The artist who paints reproductions must know every technique used by the masters who created the original.
In fact, it is not even as simple as the technique merely being copied. The reproduction artist works hard to use the same quality canvas and oils as the original artist and also becomes familiar enough with the painting to duplicate lighting, brushes, and brush strokes. It is clear that reproductions are not mere knock-offs of a great work of art. They take a lot of talent, time, and effort to get it just right.
Reproduction artists are expert painters. They simply are not creating their own unique paintings, or at least not exclusively. Perhaps in reproducing the work of the masters they are practicing and enhancing their technical ability or perhaps they just enjoy recreating the masterpieces and consider it a challenge and an honor to do so. A good way to look at it is that reproduction artists are doing us a very valuable favor. They are making it possible to bring the work of the masters into our homes. Otherwise we would have to wait until we went to a famous museum or made some very rich friends before we could ever experience the pleasure of inspiration and awe that the masters inspire in us all.
As a company which produces reproduction paintings, we are of course slightly biased, but certainly as we have experience of producing paintings of a high standard then we are fully aware of the talent it takes to reproduce a master.
Interestingly it is sometimes very much more difficult to reproduce a painting which would be considered “simpler” such as a Kandinsky, rather than something more realistic like a Bouguereau. The reason being that the details in a painting which is more abstract are much more important to the piece, as there are fewer of them. As an example, if you were painting three shapes on a canvas and one was out of place, or enlarged or in some other way distorted; it would be quite plain to see. If a leaf on a tree amongst thousands was a little bit too much to the right however, it would be nearly impossible to notice.
Abstract paintings also often requrie the feeling of the artist to be projected onto the canvas, whereas realistic painting use their subjects to invoke emotion and passion in the viewer. Reproduction of both styles are of course incredibly difficult things to acheive, and the reason why we are so very picky with the artists we choose to work with us.
Much in the same way as an Olympic figure skater, we do not simply want to envoke feelings of “nice”, or “I could do that”; our objective is to make people look at the art and wonder how on Earth it is possible to produce something so naturally beautiful, whilst at the same time not giving the slightest hint of the hundreds of hours practice it took to reach such a high level of excellence.