3 things to check before you buy that painting

Art Art Buying Art Check

Right - you love the painting, it just grabs you for some reason. You must have it and you are going to buy it. Hold on. There are some checks to do. After all, you do want it to look this good for a long long time.

Do these three simple checks before you buy

1. Have a look at what it is painted on

There are a number of possibilities but by far the most common is canvas or linen. Look at the frame the canvas is on - is it sturdy and well constructed? If small cross-section timbers are used the structure may warp over time or may already be warped. The canvas in the picture is on a good frame.

The piece could also be painted on a panel - usually ply or MDF - with a timber structure around back of the outer edge. These are a safe buy - they will stay rigid and flat. If it doesn't have the structure on the backside - it is just a panel - then assess if the thickness of the panel is right for the size of the painting. Will it remain flat? The panel below used by Angela Maritz is top quality.

We occasionally have pieces painted on doors - nothing wrong with this as they are essentially an MDF panel with a rigid structure. But you do need to consider if the weight of the piece can be accommodated on the wall you wish to hang it. There will always be a way to make it work so don't be put off by this. Just don't use an adhesive attached hook to hang it from!

2. Ask if the painting is varnished (oils/acrylics).

You will need to clean this work sometime in its life - flies will land on it and do what flies do! Most artists put some sort of clear final coat on their work as it gives all the colours the same sheen qualities. If it is not finished with some protective coat ask how to clean it.

3. Do you have the details? 

One day this painting will be owned by someone else. Sorry, but you are going to pass on before the painting does. So the next people need to know what they have got - who is the artist, when was it painted, does it have a story with it, what was the purchase date and price, is it part of a series, has it been a recipient of an art award (or has the artist). At Macandmor we provide an Authentication Certificate (on all works over $1000) that has all of these details. It is not ALL for the next owners - you can send this directly to your insurance company to ensure that it is covered by your contents insurance.

There you go - 3 simple checks to give you peace of mind.

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