Please sign in to post.

Fake Oil Painting Shop in Burano Italy

Hi everyone, I just returned from a trip to Venice, Murano, Burano and Padua and I just wanted to share some information about a few stores/areas to be aware of.

When you get off the boat on the island of Burano and go straight onto the main tourist drag there is a blue building with Burano paintings outside called "La Buranella." I always love to pick up a piece of art when I come to Italy so we walked in and I couldn't believe my eyes. In one corner a man was taking a print and tracing around the buildings in color with the brush while a woman by the cash register took his finished "work" and started using a clear paint over the print to make it look like there were brush strokes. I was so disgusted that they were up-charging these as oil paintings that I left. I know this is common with street art, but I would just like to warn people to be aware of signs of a fake (even though I know China is getting better at making them).

In the end, I bought a piece by Fabio Baldan, a more reputable artist who lives and works in Venice with a shop by the Rialto Bridge.

Posted by
663 posts

Be aware that on the other hand, in certain situations you may ONLY take "fake" art out of the country: When we bought an icon in Greece, the salesperson gave us a certificate that this was NOT a genuine icon. Without this certificate, we might have gotten into serious trouble at customs, considering how many icons are stolen from churches each year.

The point of course is that you would expect the salesperson to tell you the truth about fake or not fake.

Posted by
20625 posts

Fakes and fraud happens when it is concealed from you or represented as something else and it isn't. Since this was been done in the open, I would view it as cheap, street art. Some of our most memorable pieces have come from the street but we knew what we were buying and paid appropriately.

Posted by
313 posts

How much were these "paintings" selling for?

Every day I see tourists buying tin signs and color copies of old New Yorker covers from street stalls and I do hope they realize they're not actual antiques... nothing wrong with a fun souvenir to decorate your home as long as you know what you're getting.

Posted by
5498 posts

"Fake" means that the artwork is not genuine, that it was passed off for something else. If it is hand painted and NOT incorrectly portrayed as a piece painted by someone famous, I wouldn't call it fake. There use to be "starving artist" sales of hand painted "art". The paintings were hand painted so buyers got what they paid for. And if your taste is a day-glo Savior on black velvet that's hand painted....

Posted by
56 posts

Yes, Edgar, I know what the term "FAKE" means and since I was there and you were not I think I know that they were selling them with a sign for 70 Euros labeled as "oil paintings." I'm sorry if that was not crystal clear. Also, I disagree with you that the art needs to be by someone famous to be genuine. Many struggling artists create real works to sell from scratch or their own sketches to try to sell them to tourists. I think this is different than what you are referring to as "getting what you paid for." I bought a genuine piece of art from an artist in Rome, was he "famous" as you say, no- he wasn't- but for the same price I'd say I got what I paid for too.... as should others.

Really I was just trying to help others be aware of what they're buying and its disappointing to see so many times on this forum people try to act like they're "much holier than thou" in the travel world when you really don't know anything about me.

Posted by
1878 posts

You might want to Yelp them since you are so upset about it. This does seem to stretch the definition of "oil painting" by quite a lot.

Posted by
4821 posts

In response to Anna's comment about taking "real" art out of the country; Real or "Fake" is not the issue, but the age or historical significance. Many countries have restrictions on taking older objects out of the country, buy a modern production Icon or reproduction for high dollars, OK; buy a 300 year old Icon in a legitimate sale...you will need some help navigating the laws to haul it home, if you even can.

Posted by
663 posts

I don't claim to know all the laws on this, but in our case, the certificate was not about age but about "real" or not.

And to the best of my knowledge, the value and importance of icons does not only depend on their age alone, but on the way they have been produced (i.e., under prayer).