I find people buying paintings for relatives usually have a very specific thing in mind when they set out shopping. It is very rewarding to find just the right painting for a space that really needs it. Sometimes color is the only consideration.
Content is also very appropriate to consider. If you are buying a painting for someone that has very distinct tastes, it is important to keep that in the forefront of your mind. The painting of a rooster might be great for one relative but not for another.
Size constraints need to be taken into account when buying paintings for relatives. If your Aunt Eloise lives in a small apartment, buying a painting for her that takes up an entire wall is not a good idea. It is a good idea to take a look at the place the painting will go before purchasing one.
Color can be a big factor in the selection of a painting. If the color clashes with your relative’s décor, they may never get around to hanging it. If the color is just right, it will hang on their wall for a very long time.
Religious themed paintings are difficult to buy for friends, but easy to buy for relatives. More than likely, you know what religion your relatives adhere to and what symbols are most relevant to it. Jewish symbolism is lost on a Christian family and vice versa.
Choosing to buy paintings for relatives based on the artist’s previous work is also a good method of finding great art. If your relative already has pieces of art from an artist that they like and they hang prominently in their home, then it is a safe bet to buy another piece from the same artist.
Sometimes buying a nice painting for a relative has a point of inspiration, like a vacation. If your mom and dad just visited Paris, a nice painting of Paris might be a great choice. It is good to know what landmarks they enjoyed most and find an artistic representation of it.
I have some relatives that I’ve bought paintings for that were interested in the Middle Ages. I found some very nice reproductions of the work that was popular in that time period.
Buying reproductions is acceptable if the painting is prohibitive in cost.
An aunt that I adore is always buying painting for relatives.
Her heart is in the right place, but she has a hard time picking paintings appropriate for the recipient. She bought her daughter a lovely painting that was Baroque and completely did not fit the feel of her home.
Landscape paintings done in the Romantic style look so nice in my uncle’s home. I bought him a reproduction of a Monet that he hung in his study. I enjoy watching him study that painting.
My little sister requested that anyone buying her a painting should stay away from Van Gogh. She has equal dislike for Cezanne and Gauguin. I’m not sure why she feels so strongly about Modern and Contemporary art.
I happen to like cubist paintings by Kandinsky. My husband bought me a reproduction of a Kandinsky that I keep in my den. I can look into it and see so many different things. The painting comes to life and I feel so many emotions when I look at it.