Museum Art Reproductions – How to Choose

This is a basic guide , meant to give an insight into what to look for in a quality reproduction process.

When a piece of Art has been around for so long and is a treasure to so many people around the world, we want to help you choose museum art reproductions of Dutch Masters by going into more detail of the canvases offered online.

There is always the discussion if an art reproduction should come as close as possible to the original painting or is it ok to go for an interpretation of the original work. You will never have the original painting on your wall anyway and even the best reproductions differ from the original, no matter how much the seller tries to convince you that his reproduction work is outstanding.
We believe in the end you should always trust your own eye, feeling and taste.

Fine art reproductions on canvas or on other materials, like (photo) paper, metal or vinyl,  are created using various types of techniques.

Canvas or paper


When using canvas, it requires canvas of the highest quality often referred to as archival quality.

Be aware that ‘archival quality’  isn’t quantifiable to any standard in time and only means that the canvas is of chemical or durable stability and permanent quality material.

A number of reproducers use stretched cloth with PVC glue tot imitate real canvas. This should be reflected in the price, and you can always ask before placing your order.

Do realize that the use of quality canvas as basic material will definitely give any reproduction that sense of a real painting!


The Pros

Reproduction of a Dutch Master on canvas will give the sense of a real painting

Canvas can be of high quality (premium-grade)

Using the right frame can highly add to a canvas, most companies offer framing that can come close to the original

The Cons

 Slight loss of detail can occur as surface is not as smooth as fine photo paper

 Higher price range


Reproductions on paper using giclee printing with quality inks can look really stunning, especially when done on fine photo paper quality.

They may last shorter due to the printing technique and paper (poster) quality used.

The Pros

paper has a smoother surface and does carry detail better

transport can be easier when bought overseas, although canvas can be rolled up too

The Cons

Possible less long duration, always look at the quality of paper and printing technique

 Choice of frame can be limited by the standard paper reproduction sizes



Giclee printing

Giclee printing is a printing technique of very high quality and can be used on various materials like canvas and paper. It has become very popular over the last years, with good reason.

When looking for a good quality reproduction using this high-quality printing technique, we believe you are canvas gives a much higher quality end result than paper materials.

The work of art is first scanned in and then printed onto the stretched canvas, using ink-jet printers with very high-quality paints or pigment inks.
The result of this technique is a very smooth image, without any sign of dots as seen in other printing techniques. The other obvious difference is the wider colour range and the durability of the paint, which is guaranteed to last for years without fading.

When printing is done on canvas always check if a coating has been applied using a protective lacquer (gloss or semi-gloss), especially when the canvas is not glass-framed

The Pros

 If you go for printed canvas, look for a high-quality canvas (archival quality)

High-quality ink-jet printing technique with wide colour range

 Result is a smooth image without visible dots

Option of on-demand printing and changing the size of the print

Option of gallery wrapped border (a small continuous, white or black edge of the canvas is mounted around the stretcher bar or Museum wrapped border (a larger white edge is mounted around the stretcher bar)

Semi-gloss or gloss protective lacquer applies when not glass-framed

Framing : regular or wrapped canvas looks great, but a (glass) frame gives the ultimate museum quality look

The Cons

Even on canvas, a giclee printed surface can look sometimes flat, hand-painted brush strokes can be added after printing

Higher price range – from around US 50 – US 250 or above


Hand-painted oil reproduction on canvas

The first and most obvious characteristic of any hand painted reproduction is the artist’s brush stroke.
There is no doubt that the depth of oil paint on canvas comes closer to the original work, because of its relief effects.
Brushstroke, detail, colour and overall technique is what you should try to look for when comparing the reproduction with the original.

Naturally, there are reproductions that use prints with the touches of brush stroke applied on the canvas afterwards.
But once you decided to invest in a hand-painted reproduction on canvas, it is worth it and to a certain point not too difficult to distinguish the real painter’s hand from mass production.

This website shows the original painting for immediate and easy comparison with a reproduction you may be looking at to buy – look here for an example.

What to look for in a hand painted oil reproduction

is it similar in technique, brush stroke, colour and details when comparing with the original

is it real canvas of good quality – not stretched cloth with PVC glue to imitate canvas

has quality paint been used, good quality European / US brands versus cheaper Chinese / Korean

Money-back / satisfaction guarantee

some companies send you a photo prior to shipping

compare the size to the original – are smaller sizes offered