Copy of a painting

In terms of art a copy is an exact reproduction of the original art work, which aims at revealing author’s compositional techniques, his artistic style and technique. Similar aims also pursues an author’s copy of a popular or admirable work of art with artistic style and technique of the author presented by default. 

Most of the paintings except studies and sketches are available to be ordered as an author's copy in our ArtEgo online-gallery. For more detailed information about ordering an author’s copy please visit the corresponding page.

You can buy a painting or order an author’s copy by such artists:

The full list of painters you can find in our catalogue.

Historical facts

The term “antiquity” refers to art of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, that are quite similar by their form but have remarkably different objectives and ideas. The ideal of a free citizen was embodied in the art of Ancient Greece, so sculptures of warriors and Olympics winners served to bring up the rising generation through the outstanding examples. At the same time, the art of Ancient Rome implied on wealth, luxury, prestige, and a high social status of its owner. The goal of bringing up the rising generation through the example of a free citizen was not predominated in the art of Ancient Rome. Copying ancient Greek statues was widespread in Ancient Rome, when Greece was occupied and was turned into the colonial province of the Roman Empire, the Romans adopted only those things, that fit the Romans’ mold. The research has shown that Roman artists copied only those artifacts, that were executed in Classical and Hellenistic periods. Thanks to that widespread phenomenon of copying ancient Greek artifacts now we can have an idea of many original ancient Greek sculptures that were lost back in ancient times.

The system of copying in the Hermitage

The system of copying in the Hermitage The collection of the Hermitage museum allowed not only the nobility but also artists to get acquainted with West European culture and its highest achievements in the spiritual realm. By the Academy of Arts’ pedagogical system copying was considered to be an important part of art education.

We know about copies of the famous West European paintings from the records of the Saint-Petersburg Academy of Arts’ Factorage. The Factorege sold copies as well as students’ paintings. Some of the copies served as learning objects in private clubs or for amateur artists. Copies were also used to decorate art galleries in noble landowners’ estates, where they were not usually distinguished from original paintings. Such practice resulted in confusion between copies and original paintings when the inventory of the noble’s collections was examined during the sales.

At the beginning of the 19th century the Hermitage made a special list of artists and art lovers who were allowed to visit the gallery and to make copies of original paintings. This list included the names of copiers, among those were students and graduates of the Academy of Arts, serf artists by their lords’ permission and amateur artists. The most popular paintings to copy were of religious subject matter. The paintings of The Bolognese and the Roman Schools of Painting were also of great interest. A lot of copies were created from the original paintings by Guercino, Francesco Albani, Sassoferrato, Carlo Maratti and many others.

Copies in museums and their purposes

Museums have always collected copies of original paintings in order to protect the latter from damage. The Louvre Museum (Paris, France) keeps a few copies of the world famous “La Gioconda” by Leonardo da Vinci. The number of “La Gioconda” copies in Italy and in the USA is so enormous, that it would be enough for a special gallery.

The copy of “The Last Supper“ fresco in oil paints by da Vinci is carefully kept by the Hermitage, because the copy of the prominent fresco preserved the composition and colors of the original, which now is in a very sad condition.