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Fine Art/How to determine value of painting


In cleaning out a deceased relative's attic we found an oil on canvas painting, unsigned, which we have been able to determine is a copy of Guido Reni's PORTRAIT OF BEATRICE CENCI.  It is a beautiful work of art.  The expression on the woman's face is haunting.  It is 14" by 17 1/2" in a gold frame approximately 22" by 25".

Can you tell me how to go about determining the value of this painting?  I happened to catch the end of an episode of "Antiques Road Show" on tv and they were ending their discussion of another copy of this painting.  They said that copy could be worth up to $3,000.

Thank you for your time and expertise.

Dear Arthur, Generally a copy of a painting by an Old Master has a value commensurate with its attractiveness and decorative appeal. Sometimes artists make copies of their own paintings, or have their studio assistants make copies. These are referred to as replicas. Many later artists, especially in the 19th century copied Old Master paintings as learning tool for themselves. The more important the artist who copies a painting the more value that painting has. As you have no indictation who painted your copy, it would be nearly impossible to assign authorship. The closer in time period of your painting to the original, the greater chance it has some value. A painting conservator or art museum curator could give you a good idea of the age.

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Daniel A. Hynes


Collecting, buying, selling, identifying, and caring for paintings, drawings,and watercolors (19th and early 20th century American and European). No prints, contemporary art, or works executed after 1940.


35 years as a fine art dealer, including 3 years as a gallery director. Also was art expert for Leslie Hindman's Auctioneers, and for Dunning's Auction.

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