How to Collect Modern Prints

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How to Collect Modern Prints

It’s easy to find the perfect Modern Prints on eBay. If you are a novice collector who is looking for one great looking print or a seasoned collector, this guide will help find the perfect modern print.

Whether looking to make an investment, buying for a collection or simply just for decoration, eBay has thousands of fantastic prints ready to buy now. To see what is on offer, take a look at the Art category in the eBay store.

What Are Modern Prints?

Modern prints are replicas of modern paintings made during the period from the 1860’s to late 1970’s. These prints are not one of a kind, but still have the same effect as an original may have. The term ‘Modern’ is usually associated with prints which ignored the traditions of their time and experimented creatively. Modern artists sought fresh ways of viewing different materials and helped art evolve and experimented with new painting techniques. The paintings from which modern prints are taken were considered ‘modern’ in their time and were a big step away from the status quo. Famous modern artists such as Henri Matisse and Vincent van Gogh started to discover more expressive avenues to art by exploring personal iconography and symbolism. The use of non-traditional materials, vibrant colour and pioneering techniques revolutionised the way art was perceived.

There a few main types of modern art:


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


Very similar style to Suprematism, but instead of promoting the mystical vision, favoured the ‘Socialism of vision’. This type of painting was not easily interpreted and was soon replaced by Socialist Realism.


Founded in France at the beginning of the 20th century, Fauvism was a style of modern painting that used bold colours at its highest peak to express feelings on a subject. Well-known artists Henri Matisse and Andre Derain were advocates of Fauvism.


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.


A colourful style of painting in France from the end of the 19th Century. A more exact picture of the effects of colour and light in nature by Impressionists. Some of the most famous Impressionists were Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste.


Even though Post- Impressionism was not itself a style, it was an important style of modern art. A number of independent artists protested against Impressionism and many of them developed their own styles such as Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cezanne and Georges Seurat.

German Expressionism

Vincent van Gogh and Edvard Munch influenced German Expressionism which is a style that showed an emotional depiction 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.


Invented by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque,Cubism 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. African masks provided the inspiration for many of these which can be seen in a number of Pablo Picasso’s prints.


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

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 comfortable with the different types of modern print, it’s easy to find the style that is the most appealing to you and will help to make the right choice when looking for that perfect modern print. These various types of modern painting can be found on eBay in the Arts category.

Research Modern Prints

There a number of variations to consider when looking for a modern print. Below are some tips on what to consider when looking for a great modern print:

Open edition and limited edition

The prints can either be a limited edition or an open edition. Limited edition prints have a fixed number of impressions with the understanding that no further copies will be produced. An open edition print is only limited by the number that can be sold or made before the plate wears. It is common for most artists to produce limited editions and sign the print in pencil.


There is a huge number of subjects to consider when looking for a modern print. Subjects range from Botanical, Animals, People and Landscapes.


The styles mentioned above can really help to narrow down the search for a specific print. If you are a fan of geometric shapes, Cubism would be a good choice or if looking for a softer expression of colour and Impressionist piece may suit.


There is a few different types of printing style to consider when looking for a good print:

Etching/ Engraving

The process of using acid or mordant to cut into unprotected parts of a metal surface.


Fine Art digital prints reproduced with Inkjet printers.


A method of printing using a metal plate or lithographic limestone.

Serigraph/ Silkscreen

A printing technique that uses woven mesh to support a stencil.

Woodcut/ Block

A printing technique used throughout Asia as a method of printing on paper and textiles.

Find Modern Prints on eBay

When you have a better idea of what Modern Print you want, go to the Art category portal, click the Prints link, and start searching for Modern Prints on eBay.


The navigation bar on the left hand side of the page will help to narrow down Modern Prints by type, subject, style and medium. This will allow for a filtered search for that perfect print.

Keyword search

Specific word searches can be performed for item listings. If you want to find a Henri Matisse print, type "Henri Matisse print" (without quotation marks) into the Search bar. Click "Search title and description" to expand the results. For more tips on searching with keywords, visit eBay’s Search Commands page.

Advanced search

To search by seller, store, or buyer, go to eBay’s Advanced Search feature. You can narrow results to "All of these words," "Any of these words," or "Exact phrase." You can also search for modern prints in All Categories to find prints listed in a number of different categories.

If you can’t find what you want, let people know on the eBay community what you are looking for in Want It Now, or save a specific search on My eBay and relevant items will be sent to you via email.

Buy Modern Prints with Confidence

It is so important to find out all of the information from the seller in order to feel comfortable with the purchase on eBay. Customers are protected and you can find the details here.

Know the Seller

  • Feel secure about the purchase of the modern print and be sure to thoroughly check the seller information before buying the print. Does the seller have good feedback, great comments, a positive feedback rating, a large number of successful transactions, and a good positive response percentage?
  • A lot eBay of sellers are like retail stores and have terms and conditions for returning items. Check that this is the case before buying the item.

Buyer Protection

eBay will be sure to cover the price of any purchase, as well as shipping costs with eBay Buyer Protection should the print not be delivered or the item isn’t as described in the product listing.

Know the Purchase

  • Always read the item listings clearly to understand exactly what is being sold and factor all delivery costs in to the final price and see if the seller will insure the prints when being shipped.
  • It’s easy to ask a question by clicking the “Ask the Seller” button under the seller’s profile, should you have any queries about that particular product.
  • All transactions must be completed on eBay via a bid, Buy It Now, or Best Offer as transactions made outside of eBay are not cover by eBay Buyer Protection.
  • Paying for eBay modern prints using an instant cash wire transfer service like Western Union or MoneyGram is not advised as these forms of payment are unsafe when paying people you don’t know.


Modern Prints are a great way to collect affordable pieces of art. The range of types of modern print is vast and there should be at least one style that everyone will enjoy. A large range of modern prints are available on eBay in the Art category.

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