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Decor may display your sense of style, but art showcases your sophistication. Hang a designer painting on your wall and transform any space into a fine gallery.

Your Guide to Buying Antique Paintings

Antique paintings are those works of art that were made between the 1800s and 1915s. Whether you prefer an oil painting or a watercolor piece, favor a certain painter, or are simply interested in buying antique paintings, this guide will help you make the best decisions for your home.

Buying Antique Paintings for Your Collection

The most important way to tell if antique paintings are truly antique is from the back of the canvas. If the canvas is light beige or white, it is not very old. The darker the canvas is, the more crackle marks that can be seen on its surface, the more chances are that you have an authentic work in your hands. If the watercolor or oil painting has been done on board and the board is very dark grey or black, it typically dates back to the 1800s or early 1900s. Most canvas boards are marked on the back with labels from the artist or company that produced them. The labels are usually typical of the period from which they hail.

You can also gauge the period of antique paintings by the wood they are nailed to at the back. If the wood is darker, the piece is older. Your next consideration will be the condition of the painting. Unless you are a restorer, you will want to buy antique paintings that are in good condition. As antiques, they are likely going to have at least some craquelure, paint chips, and even a few tiny tears or rips. When shopping for antique paintings, you will have the opportunity to select from a broad range of styles that were used before the 1900s. Some of the most popular styles are listed below.

Impressionist Paintings

Impressionist paintings are not as accurate as some other antique paintings, and the artist of such a piece would use shorter brush strokes and a mixture of colors and lights.

Realism Paintings

A realist painter created work as a rejection of the romanticist era. Realist paintings tend to represent everyday situations and often depict portraits, landscapes, and animals.

Abstract Paintings

An artist during this era didn’t often make the subject matter of their pieces clear. Sometimes, bright blocks of color would be used to evoke a feeling from a piece.

Miniature Paintings

As the name suggests, miniature paintings are smaller than traditional landscape or portrait artworks. But, their size does not make them any less valuable. Only a painter who could master a degree of sleight of hand could master these antique paintings that were mainly procured with watercolor during the 19th century.

The two main mediums for older paintings were oil and watercolors. The oil paintings were the most common, with the most well-known creation being Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Many of these paintings were created on canvas and some are highly valuable because of the amount of time it took to create them. Watercolor varieties use a different kind of paint and the characteristics usually included several layers of colors. The colors tend to be softer and more transparent in nature.

The Difference Between Reproduction and Original Paintings

Reproductions are replicas of popular pieces. If you opt for a reproduction, it’s important to ensure that there aren’t any copyright infringements made on behalf of the seller. Also, replicas may not be of the standard you expect. They are not created with the same care as an original artwork.

Sourcing an original painting from pre-1900s can be daunting. You need to consider a few things, including the history of the piece. Original pieces ought to come with an auction history and previous selling prices. Furthermore, original paintings from that era are, of course, antiques, and the condition of the artwork will play a significant role in the price you pay for it. Antique paintings with minor tears are easy to restore, but significant damage is far more complex or irreparable.

Investment art is always going to increase in value. Well-listed artists from bygone eras created quality masterpieces that are sought after by dealers, collectors, and investors alike. If you are planning on investing in antique art, horizontal pictures tend to be better than vertical and landscapes are usually more valuable than seascapes, as are life-pictures. On the contrary, religious paintings can be difficult to sell unless they were created by a renowned painter. You should aim to buy original paintings that have been dated and signed by the artist and those artists who had major exhibitions during their time.

Let DECASO Complete Your Collection

With so many mediums and styles of antique paintings available, choosing the perfect piece for your space can be difficult, but it needn’t be as complicated as it seems. While there are several considerations that you should account for before buying an antique painting, DECASO offers a variety of sought-after pieces to help complete your art collection. We source paintings from around the world to bring you rare, quality pieces that you can display with pride.