Real or Replica? replica image of The Three Graces replica image of The Three Graces

While walking the galleries inside the Museo Nacional Del Prado in Spain in May, I stumbled upon “The Three Graces.”

Ironically, while standing in one of Europe’s most famous houses of art and viewing an authentic 17th-century piece, upon seeing “The Three Graces” painting, I was immediately transported back home to North Carolina and to a 20th-century reproductive work of art.

I remembered a wall tapestry titled, “The Dance,” that was purchased by a friend of mine after her visit to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville back in the 1980s.  My friend’s wall tapestry similarly features three female subjects and replicates the style of the authentic 16th-century Flemish wall tapestries that still hang in the Tapestry Gallery room inside the Biltmore House.

What is your opinion of replicas of art?  Do you think a reproduction can evoke as much feeling and response as an original?

In her “Art Reproduction: Is It As Good As the Original?” blog post, Anouska Hudovsky, founder of Fabulous Masterpieces, a UK premier art reproduction company, argues that reproductions can be as good as the original in certain cases.

A grand example of the replica versus authentic question can be seen in the massive hotels along the Las Vegas strip.  For example, you can see a replica Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, and you can see replicas of statues of Roman gods and replicas of paintings from Rome in the lobby of the Caesars Palace hotel.  If you’ve never traveled to Paris or to Rome, maybe the Vegas reproductions mean as much or more to you than if you’d witnessed “the real thing,” but, maybe not?

Again, I’ll ask:  what do you think of replicas of art, and do you hold any bias towards original works?

For some reason, when I consider the question, I keep hearing Marvin and Tammi singing these words of wisdom: “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing.”

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