artists and art collectors: how original is a litho or etching?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by jefhatfield, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    #1 i go into this store and they have rembrandt and picasso etchings and lithos from many famous artists selling from three thousand dollars and higher

    exactly, how is this art original? or if not original, what makes it so expensive?

    what about fakes? and do other people besides the artists themselves have the right to stamp out copies or etchings forever after the death of the artist?
  2. ibook30 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2005
    2,000 light years from home
    These are likely reproductions of original pieces by the artists. In some cases elaborate hand made lithos of paintings are sold as collectors items. Or - these could be second run prints of lithos / etchings created by picasso or rembrandt. With prints it is traditional for the artists to number, date, and sign each original. So - look for that, but a sig and number still don't authenticate the piece.

    Probably the best advice is to research the specific pieces. Try to find mention of the art on line or in textbooks.

    I don't know the intellectual property side of visual art- but I can paint a van gogh for you tonight , and as long as I don't try to seel it as a van gogh, It's OK. Likewise if I try to emulate another artist in print (litho or etcing) form. As long as you don't misrepresent the authorship of the work . And no one in their righ tmind would buy a second hand look at an artists inspired vision of beauty....well unless you consider the entire poster / calendar industry...
  3. jefhatfield thread starter Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    thank you very much for your informed answer ibook30

    i was at a complete loss to come up with an idea on what the art gallery was trying to sell me...i guess something original from the artist should cost more than a few thousand dollars since rembrandt, monet, and picasso were the signed names

    on some original antique furniture i know it's ok to have a professional refurbish it and not lose the value of the antique...but in something like vintage guitars, if it's not 100% percent, then it's not considered "original" and in coin collecting, it's not a good idea to polish a coin, even if it makes it look better than its original condition

    i was wondering if a second (or later) run could be made on an artist's lithos and etchings if the artist is dead and have it be considered an original?

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