How to Collect Modern Paintings

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How to Collect Modern Paintings

Buying Modern Paintings from eBay is easy, and will be even further simplified by this guide. Whether you are an experienced collector or looking for one striking piece for the living room, this guide will help find the perfect modern painting.

Whether buying for a collection, decoration or looking to make an investment, eBay has thousands of fantastic pieces ready to buy now. Take a look at eBay’s Art category to see what is on offer.

What Are Modern Paintings?

Modern paintings are artistic pieces made during the period from the 1860’s to late 1970’s. These paintings tend to denote the style and attitude towards art in that period of time. The term ‘Modern’ is usually associated with paintings which ignored the traditions of their time and experimented creatively. Modern painters experimented with new painting techniques and sought fresh ways of viewing different materials and helped art evolve.

Modern paintings are ones which are a step away from the norm of the time it was painted. Famous modern artists such as Vincent van Gogh and Henri Matisse started to discover more expressive avenues to art by exploring symbolism and personal iconography. Expressive use of colour, non-traditional materials and new techniques were the main components of this revolutionary works of art.

There a few main types of modern art:


Impressionism is a colourful style of painting in France from the end of the 19th Century. Impressionists captured captured a more exact picture of the effects of colour and light in nature. Some of the most well-known Impressionists were Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste and Henri de Toulouse Lautrec.


While Post- Impressionism was not itself a style, it was an important part of modern art. A few independent artists rebelled against the limitations of Impressionism and many of them developed their own styles such as Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cezanne and Georges Seurat.


Fauvism was a style of painting that used bold colours born in France at the beginning of the 20th century. Famous artists Henri Matisse and Andre Derain believed that colour should be used at its highest peak to express feelings on a subject.

German Expressionism-

Influenced by the styles of Vincent van Gogh and Edvard Munch, German Expressionism is a style which showed an emotionally charged vision of their subjects. Two artistic groups known as Die Brucke (The Bridge) and Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) were advocates for these types of modern painting.


Abstract is a term used to describe two types of painting, semi abstraction and pure abstraction. Abstract art tends to withdraw part of something in order to consider it separately.


Cubism was invented by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. This was the first abstract style of modern art and ignored the traditions of showing the subject in one view, instead viewing the subject from many angles at one time. Cubism found its inspiration from African masks which can be seen in a number of Pablo Picasso’s paintings.


A revolutionary movement from Italy, Futurism celebrated modernity in art. These paintings glorified technology, industrialisation, transport and speed, noise and urban life. Founded in 1909 by poet Filippo Tomas Marintetti, Futurism was brought to the fore by Umberto Boccioni and Giacomo Balla.


Developed by Russian artist Kazimir Malevich, Suprematism is a geometric style of abstract art with elements of Cubism and Futurism. Suprematism was a style which promoted mystical art and was about the supremacy of pure feeling rather than just an upfront portrayal of the subject.


Constructivism is very similar to Suprematism but instead of promoting the mystical vision, favoured the ‘Socialism of vision’. This type of modern painting was not easily understood and was soon replaced by Socialist Realism.

De Stijl

A Dutch style of pure abstract art developed by Piet Mondrian, Theo Van Doesburg and Bart van der Leck. These artists used lines and colour to explore the universal principles of harmony.

Once you are familiar with the different types of modern painting, it is easy to find the style that is the most alluring to you and will help to make the right choice when looking for that perfect modern painting to add to your collections or to hang in your living room. These various types of modern painting can be found on eBay in the Arts category.

Research Modern Paintings

Be sure to do some basic research before buying a painting. Find some tips below on what to look for when looking for that perfect modern painting.

  • Read the item description cautiously. The best sellers include as much information about the modern painting as possible, including artist, style, approximate time period, origin, and dimensions.
  • Research: Be sure to research every factor when looking for the perfect painting. A simple search will help you to find out how much a modern painting is worth, how to check for authenticity, the history of the painting and also the size/dimensions of the modern painting.
  • Imperfections: Note information about imperfections, repairs, restorations. Modern paintings are meant to last, but may develop flaws over time and need repairing or restoration. Sellers will include this information in the item description, but you can always ask the seller if you are unsure.
  • Inspect pictures: The best sellers will include a number of pictures of the modern painting, from different angles and distances. Look carefully at these pictures so there won’t be any noteworthy surprises when you receive your painting.
  • You want to feel secure and happy with your purchase, so if you still have questions, just ask. There’s a link for this built into the top right hand side of every listing under "seller information."

Find Modern Paintings on eBay

When you know what type of modern paintings you want, go to theArt category and start searching for items on eBay.

Categories - Categories lists will help you filter your listings by the type of item. For example, explore Paintings by clicking on the Antique, Modern or Contemporary subcategory. Filter your listings by simply clicking further down the page.

Product Finder - Search modern paintings based on the specifics that interest you most. For example, browse for all paintings in the modern style, regardless of age or location. Simply go to the Paintings Finder and click Modern under Categories.

Keyword search - For specific words, search eBay listing titles. For example, if you want to find a painting by Pablo Picasso, type "Pablo Picasso" (without quotation marks) into the Search bar. Click "Search title and description" to expand your results. Visit eBay'sSearch Tips page for more tips on searching with keywords.

Try shopping on eBay stores if you can’t find what you want, orsave a searchon My eBay and eBay will email you when a match becomes available or tell the eBay Community what you want by creating a post onWant It Now,

Buy Modern Paintings with Confidence        

Selecting the right modern painting can be tough given the different types of painting available (as has been outlined throughout this guide). So, before making a purchase on eBay, ensure that all relevant research on the item and seller has been carried out. There are two aspects that are required when making a confident purchase on eBay; know what is being purchased, and who the seller of that item is. These two aspects will be discussed below:

Know your Purchase

  • All products item listings are different, so ensure that you take the time to read all the details on every individual listing before making a purchase.
  • It is normally a good idea to compare specific listings, which is easily achievable via an online platform such as eBay.
  • There are normally two prices for each listing; the item price and the delivery cost. Make sure to calculate both costs to get your final price.
  • If purchasing an expensive product, it is advisable to get insurance to cover for potential damage on delivery. Ask the seller to include this if required.
  • If you require any additional information about the Modern painting item, click the "Ask seller a question" link.
  • To ensure a safe purchase, it is advisable to complete the transaction on the eBay website. This offers a safe environment for both the buyer and seller of products. Transactions carried out externally to our website are not covered by our Buyer Protection Plan.

Know your Seller

  • Before making a purchase, research the seller fully. Although eBay is a trustworthy platform, it is still advisable to do your research.
  • Identify the sellers past history in relation to feedback, ratings, positive ratings, and number of transactions completed.
  • Determine whether the seller offers any return policies, or money-back guarantees with the purchase. This can’t be negotiated after the payment is made.


Collecting Modern Art can be difficult when first starting a collection. It is important to stick to what you like and to make sure the paintings you buy are truly authentic. A huge range of Modern Paintings are available, but make sure you research the items thoroughly. Also, don’t be afraid to contact the seller. Modern Paintings suppliers should be more than happy to talk about their items and will answer your questions as they tend to be lovers of modern paintings as well. There is a wide variety of Modern Art from Impressionist to Cubism available, and these can be easily found on eBay.

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