18 Dec 2008

Not Original

(Nalini S Malaviya)

A client liked a painting she saw in a magazine and wanted it reproduced in a larger size. That set me thinking about copies (not multiples, as in lithographs, etc) or reproductions of a painting, which works out as an affordable option.
Reproductions of paintings done by famous artists have always been a popular choice with people looking at dressing their walls. One of the major reasons this is so much in vogue is because it is an affordable form of art. It costs only a fraction of the original. Obviously, there is little or no investment value from a financial angle in such paintings, but they have an immense decorative value. After all, how many people can afford a Picasso, Van Gogh, Rembrandt or a Raja Ravi Verma. In such cases there are three options - an offset print on paper, a digital print on canvas, or an oil reproduction


An offset print which is usually done on paper often tends to look tacky, and is not a good idea for dressing the interiors of residences. Small offices or low-budget reception areas tend to put these on their walls, and it is one way to add colour to drab walls.
Digital prints of paintings on canvas by Raja Ravi Verma and Haldenkar are very popular and have the advantage that these are available in various sizes. Being digitally reproduced, the colours and tonal values are matched closely with the original and give a similar look and feel as the original work. The prices also begin from somewhere around Rs.3000 or so, and therefore work out as an extremely affordable option. ‘Glow of Hope’ (also called Lady with the Lamp) a painting by Haldenkar always seems to be well in demand. Similarly, Raja Ravi Verma’s paintings are also much sought after. To reproduce these paintings in the digital format there are copyright and legal issues involved, and one should buy only from a reputed source. The good thing is that these can be printed on demand, and in the size that you want. Digital prints are of much better quality now, with better quality inks that last longer.


An oil reproduction is a wonderful way to enjoy a work of art by a famous artist. Unfortunately, oil reproductions are also fraught with issues, as fake art is a huge problem in the world of art. Therefore, be aware that there could be legalities involved and ensure you buy from a gallery that has copyrights in place. Reproductions are available from prices as low as Rs 1,000 to Rs 10,000 or more, so go ahead and own a work of art.

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