In this paper, I discuss cases of replication in the visual arts, with particular focus on paintings. In the first part, I focus on painted copies, that is, manual reproductions of paintings created by artists. Painted copies are sometimes used for the purpose of aesthetic education on the original. I explore the relation between the creation of painted copies and their use as aesthetic surrogates of the original artwork and draw a positive conclusion on the aesthetic benefits of replica production by artists. A skeptical conclusion follows regarding the use of such replicas as surrogates for the original painting. The second part of the paper concerns mechanically produced replicas, such as photographs and 3-D prints. On the basis of some of the claims made in the first part, I set conditions that mechanically produced replicas need to meet in order to function as aesthetic surrogates of an original. I argue that perfect aesthetic surrogates are either already available or at least possible. I conclude by considering two possible objections.

Included in

Aesthetics Commons



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