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Archive for February, 2010

If you’re thinking about commissioning a fine art reproduction of an oil painting that you love there are some things that you need to look out for when browsing art reproduction websites.

1. Is there a postal address but more importantly a phone number that you can call that is clearly visible on their website?


If your art reproduction company is reputable they will have a phone number clearly displayed. I would strongly recommend avoiding companies that don’t. We have heard several horror stories from new customers who originally bought an art reproduction from a website with no address or phone number displayed and when problems arose such as a poor quality painting or the painting was damaged in transit etc there was nobody that they could call to talk to. Emails suddenly went unanswered and as there was no phone number listed to call or address shown, nothing could be done, resulting in people being left with an unsatisfactory painting that they could never display and money being thrown down the drain.  The lesson to learn here is make sure contact details are visibly displayed and better still call your chosen art reproduction company before ordering to talk through any concerns that you may have.

2. Does the art reproduction company comply with copyright law?

Van Gogh's Starry Night by Fabulous Masterpieces

I cannot tell you how many companies I have seen online that are offering customers the chance to buy copies of masterpieces that are still covered by copyright, and therefore illegal. These businesses know it too! Usually, these are the art replica companies that will not display a number or address so there is no way the authorities or DACS (the Design and Artists Copyright Society) would be able to prosecute them. Just so you know, in a nutshell any painting can be copied if the artist has been dead for 70 years. That means, any artist who has died prior to 1st January 1940 is perfectly legal to replicate (apart from the extremely  rare occasions whereby the estate of the late artist has successfully extended copyright). However, if you see a website offering to paint you a Rothko, Matisse or a Picasso (he died in 1973) for example, this is in breach of copyright law. And as for artists that are still alive, that is a huge no no. Yes, I know it’s annoying! Your favourite artist might be Picasso or Freud but do you really want to deal with an art reproduction company that is painting copies illegally? What will you do if there is a problem with your painting? The lesson to learn here is to deal with reputable art companies who comply with copyright law. Remember an artist needs to be dead for 70 years before you can legally commission a painting by him or her.

3. Does your art reproduction company have examples of their work shown on their website?

Charles Fortune's Mending Nets by Fabulous Masterpieces

Art Reproduction of Charles Fortune's Mending Nets by Fabulous Masterpieces

This is quite important as art reproduction is all about quality. For example on the Fabulous Masterpieces website there is a compare and contrast section, allowing people to compare the art reproductions to the original painting. There are also photos of Fabulous Masterpieces’ paintings in situ, which again shows people the quality that they can expect. The lesson to learn here is since just about all art reproduction companies are run solely online, you need to try and see as many examples of their paintings as you can, so you can make a judgement if the quality of their oil paintings is right for you. A lot of companies also make the claim that their art reproductions are “museum quality“! It’s true, Fabulous Masterpieces does make this claim, but we make that claim because museums commission our art reproductions due to their high quality. Do museums commission reproductions from your chosen art company, or is the claim simply hype? Whatever art company you decide to order from, just make sure you are happy with the quality of their work as when you receive your painting you want to not only enjoy it but be proud to display it in your home.

4.  Don’t pay peanuts but don’t pay over the odds.


When it comes to pricing, just do a Google search and you’ll see that prices for art reproductions can vary astonishingly. I once saw a reproduction oil painting of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers sold for £20 on ebay. £20! I was so amazed that I spent £20 of my hard earned money to see what a £20 replica oil painting would look like.  Well, it wouldn’t take Einstein to guess that the painting was dreadful.  It looked like something a 6 year old might paint and the smell was horrendous.  I have no idea what poor quality, cheap oils they used but it was not good. At the same time, I have seen art reproductions online starting from £1,500.  From a young age, we are told that we get what we pay for but £1500 for a standard size oil painting copy (50cm x 60cm) is extortionate.  Remember, this is not appreciable art, it is decorative art.  The lesson to learn here is shop around, make sure the quality of your oil painting justifies the price and very importantly, that you are getting good value for your money.

5. Will your art reproduction company post negative reviews as well as good on their website?


If you want to book a hotel, what do you do? Just about everybody I know goes onto Trip Adviser to read genuine reviews by people on their hotel experience to help them make an informed decision on what hotel they should stay with. If your art reproduction company does not have any testimonials posted on their website, then be careful, as you would have to ask, why? Aren’t any of their customers happy with their art reproductions? Secondly, does their website allow you to post not just good reviews but negative comments, or do they screen the reviews submitted and just post positive testimonials. You need to be wary if the reviews you are reading are all one sided and therefore not giving you an honest picture of the art reproduction company you are ordering from.

To give you an example of what to look out for, at Fabulous Masterpieces people can post reviews on an external site, the link of which is on the Fabulous Masterpieces website allowing people to read and review us. Whether positive or negative, all comments are posted, allowing you, the perspective customer to make an informed decision.  The lesson to learn here is making sure you are getting all the information, not just the biased bits.  Type the name of the art reproduction company into Google and see what people have said about them on forums or review websites. It pays to do research.

Have a question?

We’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment or contact us via email: info@fabulousmasterpieces.co.uk or call us on: +44 (0)20 8354 9280.  Alternatively, visit our art reproduction website Fabulous Masterpieces by following the link. http://www.fabulousmasterpieces.co.uk 

Oh and Yup, we deliver world-wide too!

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