A Picasso Online for Just $450? Yes, It Is a Steal

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Bargain hunting online? How about an original Rembrandt for $900 (“you can clearly tell its age by the paper,” the seller of this etching attests), or a signed piece in ink by Matisse for $1,250. (The artist’s work is, the online seller notes, “radical and unprecedented in the history of Western art.”)

Yes, Sotheby’s can command more than $100 million for a Picasso at auction. But shoppers on the Web can find an “original” painting by that master for a mere $450 — less than a pair of designer shoes.

Every day works labeled “original” and “authentic” and attributed to titans of the art world are offered at closeout prices by online galleries and auction sites. And every day people buy them....

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