Art Forgery and Copies
The term "art forgery" refers to creating and typically selling works of art that are falsely attributed to be the work of another, usually more famous artist.
The paintings created by Arcadian Galleries are not in this sense forgeries, however they are very good copies, or reproductions, often indistinguishable from the originals, except by an expert.
History of art forgery
Copying of famous works has happened from time immemorial. Roman sculptors even produced copies of Greek sculptures. And presumably the contemporary buyers knew that they were not genuine.
Before the modern-day commercial art market, copying a work of a master was considered a tribute, not a forgery. In the previous centuries, many painters such as Rembrandt owned workshops with apprentices who studied painting techniques by copying the works and style of the master. As a payment for the training, the master had a right to sell these works for money. At a later date, some of these works have been erroneously attributed to the masters.
Art forgery became more prominent in the Renaissance when interest in antiquities increased their value. This soon extended to contemporary and recently deceased artists. Indeed, in the C16th, imitators of Albrecht Dürer's style of printmaking added signatures to them and thus increased the value of their own prints. Today such items are considered to be forgeries.
In the C20th, the art market has favoured artists such as Dalí, Picasso, Klee and Matisse, all of whom have been common targets of the art forger. Usually the forgeries are sold to art galleries and auction houses who cater to the tastes of art and antiquities collectors.
Copies, replicas, reproductions and pastiches are legitimate works. They become known as forgeries when someone intentionally tries to pass them off as genuine items even if they know this not to be true. However, sometimes the difference between a legitimate copy and a deliberate forgery can be blurred. For example, Guy Hain used the original moulds to create copies of Auguste Rodin's sculptures. What made them forgeries was that he signed them with the name of Rodin's original foundry.
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