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How to buy art online?

Choosing the right website for buying art online

Artsper has a catalogue of 60,000 works from more than 1,200 French, European, and international art galleries, giving you the widest and most varied possible selection of artworks. With the help of our experts, we select the art galleries we work with in order to guarantee that the artworks available on our website are original and authentic. We work only with galleries that strongly support artistic creation and represent renowned or emerging artists.

On our platform, you'll find a wide range of artworks. The website offers not only a variety of mediums—from paintings and sculptures to drawings, prints, and photographs—but also a variety of styles. These works are made by artists with great potential and are exhibited by prominent art galleries chosen by our network of experts.

Artsper was designed to provide you with an exceptional browsing experience: every gallery and contemporary artist has a personalised page you can visit in order to find out more about them. Each artwork is presented using high-quality photographs and a thoroughly detailed description with information about the artist.

Finding out about the artwork

The artwork's characteristics: Before buying a work of art, it's important to study its characteristics because most artworks shown on the website are unique. In the description beneath the artwork, you will find its size, the medium, and the technique used, as well as the materials it is made of. In the case of paintings, prints or drawings the description will also specify whether the work is framed or not.

Original work or print: While most paintings, drawings, and sculptures are unique, photographs and prints exist in several copies but in a limited number. An original and unique work is more valuable than a work that exists in many copies. Nevertheless, prints are an excellent way to start building a collection. In the case of prints, it is always advisable to check the marking of a work, including its edition number and the artist's signature.

Works with or without an authenticity certificate, works with the artist's signature: In the description you can check whether the work in question has been signed by the artist or if it is sold with a certificate of authenticity. To find out more about signed works and authenticity certificates, please read our articles concerning this topic.

The price: Every work shown on the website has been subject to an evaluation by the gallery manager to guarantee its authenticity and to determine its value. The price of an artwork is set by the gallery manager and the artist based on a range of criteria.

Payment methods: Artsper provides a secure payment system, by bank transfer, Paypal or debit/credit card. We also now accept several currencies including: euros, US dollars, British pounds, and Swiss francs.

Delivery date: Delivery depends on your distance from the gallery and the number of days that the art gallery requires to make the artwork available to a carrier. When you place an order on the website, you will be informed of how many days it will take for the artwork to be delivered.

Free returns: If both you and the gallery are within the European Economic Area, you will have 14 days to exercise your right of withdrawal, without having to give a reason and without incurring any penalties. What's more, Artsper will refund you in full for the artwork and will pay for the fees incurred for the return (up to the delivery fees paid by the gallery to send it to you) – so there's no reason not to treat yourself.

Learning about the artist

Knowing how to correctly decipher an artist's biography could help you make the right decision.

Age: An artist's age may turn out to be a key detail when purchasing art online. This first piece of information may shed light on the future of the artist's career. A young artist will usually still have a lot of time to build a successful career and see the prices for his or her work increase. If your main reason for buying is as an investment, it is in your best interest to choose young or emerging contemporary artists.

Artistic Training: Education and learning is key to an artist's life and career. Rare are those who are truly self-taught, even though many claim to be. Prestigious schools are real springboards for future artists; some galleries will contact promising students at certain schools even before they have graduated.

Prizes and awards: Prizes and awards are essential for an artist's career because they provide a basis for assessing an artist's popularity. Recognition from peers, awards, and prizes help artists become famous. Of course, the more prestigious the prize, the faster an artist's career may progress.

Exhibitions: An artist's biography will also provide information on his or her exposure – that is, whether they are represented by one or several galleries every year, and whether their works are regularly exhibited, not only in their home country, but also abroad. An exhibition's importance depends on how prestigious the exhibition space or the organisation behind it is. Participation in group shows demonstrate the artist's involvement within the artistic community.

Collections: Biographies will often specify if an artist's works are part of a public (in a museum) or private (belonging to a collector) collection. The acquisition of an artwork by an important collector in the past is also a good indication of an artist's value and popularity. h2>Understanding the price of the artwork If you have sought information about the artist who made the artwork that appeals to you, you may already have a good understanding of its price. However, if you're still hesitating and would like some more information, read our articles How is an artwork priced? and How are an artist's reputation and price determined?.

If you still have doubts, feel free to contact our customer service team!

Taking the plunge

Price: If you are a first-time buyer, it is recommended to set a price range as a guideline when you start looking for works to buy. You can enter this price range on Artsper (link) so that only works within this price range appear in your search.

Medium: Similarly, it is recommended to have an idea of the medium you'd like to purchase to make your search easier and avoid being overwhelmed with countless search results.

Size: It's best to think ahead about where you want to display the work. Our View in a room tool is available to help you make the choice!

Colour: Colour reflects one's personal taste. Wait until an artist catches your eye, and then filter his or her works by colour to choose the one that you love!

Furthermore, if you're looking for an artwork by a specific artist or artistic movement, it's a good idea to read about them, both in terms of their position on the art market as well as their style or history. You may find that the work suddenly appeals to you a lot more… or a lot less!

If the artwork refers to a historical or political event from the past or present, make sure to also learn about it so that you can understand it more and therefore interpret the artwork in its correct context.