How to spot fake oil paintings- 5 Must Do Steps!

With the increasing demand for art in the online market, we have seen some problems that collectors are facing day by day in recognizing the original art. So, we are going to discuss some of the biggest concerns of art collectors: how to spot fake oil paintings and this blog aims to highlight the most important key factors to differentiate between original and fake oil paintings, so you can make a better-informed purchase.

Spotting fake oil paintings may require some knowledge about the art styles, canvas, and artist’s signature. All the required knowledge has been mentioned in this blog. Let’s start the discussion!

How to spot fake oil paintings?

Fake oil paintings can be spotted by following these 5 steps:

  • Analyze the oil painting style
  • Properly check the canvas
  • Check the signature
  • Use of black light
  • Research the history of the oil painting

The rise of the online market makes it hard to spot fake artwork because you cannot see enough details in a picture.

Note: An oil painting can have different variety of styles, signature and history. That's why it is important to check the oil painting with all the enlisted steps for best result. 

Table of Contents

One- Analyzing the oil painting’s style:

Each famous artists have a unique way of expressing the artwork. Oil painting styles may vary on the basis of the artist’s styles and the kind of material used. For example, Leonard da Vinci was a famous painter and also the artist of the Mona Lisa. He used underpainting to create the mood and then glazing to create the final look. This method also enables him to create luminous tones. Mona Lisa, The Last Super, Salvator Mundi, and Vitruvian Man are some of the famous artworks created by Leonard Da Vinci.

How to spot fake oil painting - Fake oil painting of Mona Lisa
A fake oil painting of the Mona Lisa with visible differences

Vincent Van Gogh was also a famous artist who created more than 860 oil paintings and more than 2100 artworks. He used a bold and dramatic style of art to express his emotions and feelings. Some other famous oil painting artists and their techniques are as follows are:

Artist’s NamesPainting Styles
Leonard da VinciUnderpainting, glazing
Vincent Van GoghBold and Dramatic
J.M.W TurnerRomantic Landscape
Winslow HomerUncompromising Realisim
Eugene BoudinUncompromising Realism
Edward MunchImpressionism
Pablo PicassoCubism
Johannes VermeerFlourishes parts of Europe
Diego VelazquezFlourished parts of Europe
Caravaggiorealism, intense chiaroscuro
Gustav Klimtsymbolism
Edouard Manet Intimate and quiet scenes
Table showing the famous oil painting artists and their painting styles

You can separately check all the artists and their art styles one by one by research.

Two- Checking the canvas

There could be only two possibilities behind inspecting the canvas. It could be new or older; an old canvas will have a natural and distinctive texture but new will look new and brighter. If the oil painting is claimed to be an antique but the canvas is new then it is a fake oil painting. Most of the reproductions are made on new canvas but they also try to create the canvas the same as the original. That’s why you have to check other aspects as well.

Three – Checking the signature

Most artists sign their own paintings and that’s why their signatures are unique. A signature can also be made by a print to create a similar look to the original but an authentic signature is always made by hand. The signature of the artist is the unique identity of the authenticity of the oil painting. You can always check these signatures here.

Four- Method to use Black Light

A black-light is a good indicator to measure the originality of oil paintings. A signature that can be detected under a black light. For example, You get failed to differentiate whether the signature is print or handmade, you can use a black light to detect this.

Five- Checking the history of the oil painting

History of the painting is also known as Provenance which can be found on the back of the painting or it can be a signed statement that can reveal the previous owner’s details and the date of purchase. If the painting has a dubious history or was recently discovered then it is fake.

What are fake oil paintings?

Fake oil paintings are also known as reproductions or recreations of the original painting. These are the type of oil paintings that have been created for customers who want famous paintings at cheap prices. Creating fake oil paintings is legal as long as the buyer is informed about the painting’s fake status.

These fake oil paintings are created by some skilled artists who master the techniques and styles of the original artists. Fake oil paintings also have a great demand in the market because of their low cost.

Do You Know!
Fake paintings are also known as art prints or reproductions. Know about: how to tell if a painting is original or fake. 

This is also important to note that all the reproductions, prints, and copies are fake. Many art galleries offer high-quality reproductions as well just for the sake of education and decoration. However, reproduction cannot get a place in a museum because originality is something that is made just only once. If you have a famous original painting, then you may be very lucky because most the collectors may have a print of the same painting.

The price of fake oil paintings can range from 20 USD to 500 USD depending on the quality and size of the painting. The art prints from galleries are relatively higher in price because they only choose such prints that have exact details.

What are Original Oil Paintings

Original oil paintings are unique artworks that have been created by hand using a brush or oil painting. Moreover, original oil paintings are not copies and there are no other original oil paintings that are exactly the same. There are three things in common about original oil paintings:

  • Signature
  • Provenance
  • Brush strokes
How to spot fake oil paintings- Salvator Mundi (original Oil Painting)
Original Salvator Mundi
Image Credit: Rawpixel | Under CC0 1.0

Original oil paintings are also valuable because they are only one of a kind and we cannot get another exact piece of art. Each unique painting has its own history, story, style, and signature. Remember that we can produce a high quantity of fake artwork but originality is always lower in quantity but its worth is higher than hundreds of fake art prints.

The value of an original oil painting is determined by its condition, the reputation of the artist, framing, and quality of work. Know More: Oil Painting Trends 2023.

Original vs Fake Oil Paintings

CriteriaOriginal Oil PaintingsFake Oil Paintings
ProvenanceCan be tracedUnknown
Material UsedHigh QualityLow Quality
ValueWorthful Cheap
Legal to sellYesYes
Investement PotentialGoodNo potential
Original vs fake oil paintings

Where can I get fake oil paintings

You can get fake oil paintings at multiple sites but three of the best online places to buy a fake oil painting are:

These are only three but the most authentic sites where you can get fake oil paintings.

1st Gallery is the best oil painting reproduction company where you can get a lot art prints of famous oil paintings. 

How much is a fake oil painting worth?

A fake oil painting worth between 20 USD to 200 USD. In most cases, a good art print can be got for just 50 USD. The value of fake oil paintings depends upon the exact matching and the size of the painting so the price is not exactly measurable.

Those who create fake artwork are known as forgers. Some forgers create high-quality prints that cannot be easily differentiable. Usually, these kinds of fake oil paintings are a little bit costly mostly between 50 USD to 100 USD. On the other hand, some forgers create low-quality copies that can be differentiated quickly. Such artworks worth no more than 50 USD.


How are the detection of fake oil paintings and nuclear bombs related?

These two methods are related because there are some techniques that are similar in both methods such as X-ray analysis, carbon dating, and spectroscopy. Detection of both required high expertise and knowledge. As a term to relate it with hard work, some people often say they as similar.

Final Words

In this modern world, this is not tough work to create a painting by using Ai-based software. The originality of handmade paintings is getting vanished day by day but their worth is still increasing. As our life is getting automated, people are getting more attracted to handmade artworks. But during a purchase of any painting, you must have to be sure about its authenticity. An original oil painting always contains an old canvas, signature, and provenance. If you don’t find any signs of these things, your oil painting is not original.

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