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Fine Art/Appraising Renoir


QUESTION: Dear Mr. Andrew Evans,

In one of your answers you referred to the following page dealing with Renoir's works on paper:

The prices there range from $3,000 to $20,000. May it be that the price of $125,000 at which sum the drawing represented at the page below had been allegedly sold is a mistake:

Thank you so much,

ANSWER: Hello Yuri,

In regards to the works displayed on, these works are original prints (lithographs and etchings) by Renoir, while the work that you reference on is a unique original drawing. Essentially, the works are different mediums, which explains the discrepancy in pricing.

While there are many different types of original prints (etchings, lithographs, woodcuts, screenprints, etc.), original prints involve the creation of an image on a surface (copper, stone, wood, etc.) by an artist.  This surface, when pressed into paper, creates an original print. Unlike with a drawing, an artist can produce multiple copies of a print. Prints are usually created in editions and often numbered and signed by the artist.  However, in the case of Renoir's original prints, his prints are not numbered or hand signed.

In comparison to a print, a drawing is a unique original, one of a kind work. Since only one drawing exists created by the artist's hand, a drawing is usually much more expensive than a print.

I hope that this information can be of some assistance.


Andrew Evans

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Mr. Andrew Evans,

Thanks again for your answer!

Frankly, the idea of uniqueness of said drawing occurred to me. Now it would be logical to ask how to distinguish between a print that is one of a series and a unique drawing on paper. While it appears an impossible task for a layman, could an expert determine this from a photograph or is it necessary to examine the drawing in question. I mean perhaps all works produced in series are catalogued and experts could consult the relevant data source.    

Best wishes,

Hello Yuri,

While it can be difficult to distinguish a drawing from a print, an expert can usually tell the difference from a photo.  There is also a catalog of Renoir's printed works by Joseph Stella that you could reference.  While a lithograph can often look like a drawing to an untrained eye, an etching can usually be identified by an indented plate mark that surrounds the image. This plate mark is the result of the edges of the metal (usually copper) plate being pressed into the paper during the printing process.  If you see this indented border around the image, it is usually a good clue that you have an etching rather than a drawing.

Hope this helps!

Andrew Evans

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Andrew Evans


Experienced in selling, appraising and judging authenticity of signed original prints and unique works of fine art. Concentration on Picasso lithographs; Rembrandt etchings; Edgar Degas drawings; Calder lithographs; Miro; Durer woodcuts; Marc Chagall lithographs; Renoir etchings; Toulouse Lautrec lithographs; Vasarely; Warhol silk screens; Henry Moore sculptures.


Judging authenticity and avoiding fraud. Appraisal. Fine art investments.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Sonoma State University

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