Originally Posted by Dcam
How could these photographers hand paint enough copies to be "numerous"?
"Numerous" is a relative concept, depending on size of market. I imagine that a sufficiently simple composition could be painted over in a couple of days. Say, output two per week at a leisurely pace, 100 in a year. If the size of the market is 80, then that's "numerous."
The only ones I've personally seen were abstracts (prints of original abstract art) that did not involve much by way of fine detail. Should not have taken very long to paint over.
I read somewhere that certain famous European art works (such as Albrecht Durer's Young Hare
) may be exhibited as copies. That is, the museum visitor goes there to see the original, but instead sees a high-quality copy (as opposed to an ordinary print). This is because the original cannot withstand continuous exposure. Although that's not the same issue as the original question, we can ask ourselves: If we went to the Louvre to see Mona Lisa, but a carefully painted copy were on display, would we know the difference? Would we care?
I can see a quality image of Mona Lisa at any time, and inspect it in greater detail than I would be allowed to inspect the original painting at the Louvre. But if I were in Paris, and took a day to go there (paying the entrance fee), I would be quite disappointed if a duplicate were on display, even if the duplicate looked better than the original.
On the other hand, I really don't care whether some ordinary scene was painted from (or atop) a photograph. Nor do I care whether it was painted by my cousin's grandchild, or someone else.
I personally would not hesitate to paint from, or atop, photographs. The catch is that I lack sufficient brushwork skill to capture important real-world details, so that wouldn't work for me.