Here's How to Spot a Fake Painting at Jolly Redd's on 'Animal Crossing'

Amber Garrett - Author

Apr. 27 2020, Updated 12:15 p.m. ET

how to tell if art is real animal crossing
Source: Nintendo

The addition of art to the museum in Animal Crossing New Horizons is a welcome one for fans of the Nintendo game. Past generations have had this feature with Crazy Redd — now rebranded as Jolly Redd, selling priceless works of art and more than a few counterfeits. The problem is, the fakes in New Horizons are different from past games, and they're a lot trickier to spot. But you can spot them if you have a trained eye. Here's how to tell if a painting is fake.

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How to tell if a painting is fake on 'Animal Crossing':

You don't need an art history degree to spot a counterfeit, but it certainly helps. The main challenge is that Redd never gives you the real name of a work of art for sale on his Treasure Trawler. 

However, we do know every painting and statue in the game, which can help you look up the real deal on Google Images and check it against what Redd is selling. Caveat emptor, though — you can't always count on at least one genuine work of art on sale. Sometimes every painting and sculpture Redd has is counterfeit, and reportedly some works have multiple fake versions.

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animal crossing art museum
Source: Nintendo

You won't get confirmation you got the real thing until your package arrives the next day and you take it to Blathers to authenticate. There are two pieces of good news, though. First, the first painting Redd gives you in the game is always genuine. Second, there are some paintings in the game that are always the real deal, according to many gamers' painstaking research. We'll walk you through every painting you can always count on to be genuine along with some telltale signs you've got a counterfeit.

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These 14 paintings are always real.

(Each entry includes the name the painting is given in the game along with its real-world name and artist.)

  • Calm Painting: A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat
  • Common Painting: The Gleaners by Jean-François Millet
  • Dynamic Painting: 36 Views of Mt. Fuji — The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai
  • Flowery Painting: Sunflowers by Vincent van Gogh
  • Glowing Painting: The Fighting Temeraire by Joseph Mallord William Turner
  • Moody Painting: The Sower by Jean-François Millet
  • Mysterious Painting: Isle of the Dead by Arnold Böcklin
  • Nice Painting, The Fifer by Édouard Manet
  • Perfect Painting, Apples and Oranges by Paul Cézanne
  • Proper Painting, A Bar at the Folies-Bèrgere by Édouard Manet
  • Sinking Painting, Ophelia by John Everett Millais
  • Twinkling Painting, The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh
  • Warm Painting, The Clothed Maja by Francisco de Goya
  • Worthy Painting, Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix
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Two of the statues are also always real.

  • Familiar Statue, The Thinker by Auguste Rodin
  • Great Statue, King Kamehameha I by Thomas Ridgeway Gould
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Here are the key differences between the fakes and their real counterparts.

Academic Painting, Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci: The fake has a ring in the upper-righthand corner that looks like somebody put a cup of coffee down on it. Hilarious!

Amazing Painting, The Night Watch by Rembrandt van Rijn: The man in the front is missing his hat in the fake.

Basic Painting, Blue Boy by Thomas Gainsborough: In the fake, the boy's bangs are full and go all the way across. 

Detailed Painting, Ajisai Sōkeizu by Itō Jakuchū: There are two differences on this one. The fake is missing the signature on the left and the leaves of the tree are purple instead of blue.

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Famous Painting, Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci: The real Mona Lisa doesn't have eyebrows — fun fact!

Graceful Painting, Beauty Looking Back by Hishikawa Moronobu: There are at least two fake versions of this one. The real one will be facing right and have a white ribbon on her hair from the back. One fake is missing the white ribbon, and another has the figure facing left.

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Jolly Painting, Summer by Giuseppe Arcimboldo: In the real painting, the figure has what looks like a flower, or thistly on its chest.

Moving Painting, The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli: The fake is missing the trees that are in the top right corner.

Quaint Painting, The Milkmaid by Johannes Vermeer: The milk coming out of the pitcher should be a small trickle. On the fake, it is a very generous pour.

Scary Painting, Ōtani Oniji III as Yakko Edobei by Tōshūsai Sharaku: The eyebrows on the fake look sad (slanted upward toward the forehead) rather than angry (slanted toward the nose).

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Scenic Painting, The Hunters in the Snow by Pieter Bruegel the Elder: There are two hunters with dogs in the lower right corner of the real painting. The fake has just one hunter and fewer dogs.

Serene Painting, Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo da Vinci: The ermine in the real painting is all white, whereas the fake has ringed eyes and looks more like a raccoon or lemur.

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Solemn Painting, Las Meninas by Diego Velásquez: This is perhaps the toughest to spot. The painting within the painting features a man in black holding onto a curtain. In the fake, the man in this painting has his arm raised higher and is not clutching the curtain.

Wild Painting (left), Folding Screen of Fūjin and Raijin by Tawaraya Sōtatsu: In the real painting, the beast-god is white. In the fake, he's green.

Wild Painting (right), Folding Screen of Fūjin and Raijin by Tawaraya Sōtatsu: The real and fake of this panel is the inversion of the left. On the real one, the beast is green, whereas the fake is white.

Wistful Painting, Girl With a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer: There are multiple fakes of this one. On one, the girl's eyes are closed, and on another the earring is star-shaped instead of a teardrop. 

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fake painting animal crossing
Source: Nintendo

Ancient Statue, Jōmon period dogū figurine Shakōki-dogū, artist unknown: The fake Ancient Statue has two antennae coming out of the side of its head.

Beautiful Statue, Venus de Milo, artist unknown: The fake has a necklace.

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Gallant Statue, David by Michelangelo: It's probably not the package you'll initially be focused on, but the fake is holding a parcel or book under his arm.

Informative Statue, Rosetta Stone, artist unknown: The fake is blue instead of black.

Motherly Statue, Capitoline Wolf, artist unknown: The wolf has its tongue sticking out on the fake.

Mystic Statue, Bust of Nefertiti, Thutmose: The fake is wearing an earring in its right ear.

Robust Statue, Discobolus, artist unknown: The athlete in the fake is wearing a watch. A little anachronistic!

Rockhead Statue, Olmec Colossal Head, artist unknown: The fake is smiling.

Tremendous Statue, Houmuwu Ding, artist unknown: The fake has a lid, whereas the real one is open at the top.

Valiant Statue, Nike of Samothrace, artist unknown: This one is tough. The real statue has its right foot forward (your left); the fake has its left forward (your right).

Warrior Statue, Terracotta Army, artist unknown: The fake is holding a spade (or shovel). The real one is unarmed.

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