A Guide to Buying African Paintings

A Guide to Buying African Paintings

July 04, 2023


African art has a rich and diverse history, with a wide range of artistic expressions and styles. The continent's vibrant cultures, stunning landscapes, and deep-rooted traditions have inspired artists for centuries. In this guide, we will delve into the world of African paintings, specifically focusing on contemporary, cultural, landscape, and abstract art.

Whether you're a seasoned art collector or a novice enthusiast, this article aims to provide you with essential tips and insights to make informed decisions when purchasing African paintings.

  1. Research and Familiarize Yourself: Before diving into the world of African art, take the time to educate yourself about the different styles, artists, and techniques prevalent in African paintings. Explore the works of renowned African painters such as El Anatsui, Chéri Samba, William Kentridge, and Ouattara Watts, to name a few. This research will help you develop an appreciation for the diverse art forms and enable you to recognize authentic and high-quality pieces.

  2. Determine Your Preferred Style: African art encompasses a wide range of styles, each with its unique characteristics. Contemporary African art often merges traditional techniques with modern influences, presenting a fusion of cultural narratives and global perspectives. Cultural art celebrates the rich heritage and customs of various African tribes and communities, depicting scenes of everyday life, rituals, and symbolism. Landscape paintings capture the breathtaking beauty of Africa's diverse geography, from savannahs to deserts, mountains to coastlines. Abstract art, on the other hand, explores the use of shapes, colors, and forms to evoke emotions and ideas. Determine which style resonates with you the most to guide your search.

  3. Authenticity and Source: When purchasing African paintings, it is crucial to ensure authenticity and ethical sourcing. Look for reputable galleries, art dealers, and auction houses that specialize in African art. Research the background of the seller, check for certifications or memberships in art associations, and inquire about the provenance of the artwork. Genuine African paintings should come with documentation that traces the artwork's origin and verifies its authenticity.

  4. Engage with the Artist or Seller: Whenever possible, try to connect with the artist or seller to gain insights into the artwork's creation and cultural significance. Understanding the artist's intentions and inspirations will deepen your appreciation for the painting. If you are purchasing directly from the artist, you may also have the opportunity to commission a custom piece or acquire a work from their latest collection.

  5. Consider Your Budget: African paintings come in a wide range of prices, from affordable prints to high-end original works. Set a budget that suits your financial capacity and explore options within that range. Remember that quality and artistic value should be the primary factors influencing your decision, rather than the investment potential.

  6. Preservation and Display: Once you have acquired an African painting, ensure proper preservation and display. Protect the artwork from direct sunlight, extreme temperatures, and humidity to prevent fading or damage. Consider consulting a professional framer to choose an appropriate frame and display meth

  7. Emerging Artists and Galleries: In addition to established artists, exploring the works of emerging African artists can be a rewarding experience. Look for up-and-coming talents who bring fresh perspectives and innovative techniques to their artwork. Seek out galleries and art spaces that support and showcase these artists, as they often offer a platform to discover exciting new voices in the African art scene.

  8. Art Fairs and Exhibitions: Attending art fairs and exhibitions focused on African art is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the vibrant art scene and discover a wide array of paintings. Events like the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, held in cities like London, New York, and Marrakech, showcase diverse artists and galleries from across the African continent. These events provide an opportunity to engage with artists, gallery owners, and fellow art enthusiasts, fostering connections and expanding your knowledge.

  9. Art Auctions: Participating in art auctions can be an exhilarating way to acquire African paintings. Auction houses specializing in African art, such as Bonhams and Sotheby's, regularly host dedicated auctions featuring notable works. Thoroughly research the artwork and set a bidding limit to ensure you stay within your budget. Remember that auction prices can be influenced by factors such as artist reputation, rarity, and demand, so exercise caution and seek expert advice if necessary.

  10. Online Marketplaces: The digital age has made it easier than ever to explore and purchase African paintings online. Websites and platforms like Artsy and TingaTinga African Art provide a vast selection of artworks from established and emerging African artists. These platforms offer detailed information about the artworks, including artist biographies, images, and pricing, making it convenient to browse and compare different pieces. When buying online, verify the credibility of the platform and seller and carefully review their return and authentication policies.

  11. Cultural and Social Impact: Buying African paintings not only brings beauty and cultural richness into your life but also has the potential to make a positive social impact. Some artists use their work to address social and political issues, support local communities, or promote sustainability. Consider supporting artists and galleries that engage in socially conscious practices or contribute to community development initiatives, as your purchase can help empower and uplift African artists and their communities.

  12. Regional Styles and Influences: Africa is a vast continent with diverse cultures, traditions, and artistic expressions. Each region has its distinct artistic styles and influences. For example, West African art often incorporates vibrant colors, intricate patterns, and symbolism, while East African art emphasizes natural landscapes and wildlife. Southern African art showcases a blend of traditional and contemporary elements, often exploring themes of identity and history. Understanding these regional nuances can help you appreciate the unique qualities of African paintings and make informed choices based on your preferences.

  13. Artistic Techniques and Materials: African artists employ a wide range of techniques and materials in their paintings. Traditional techniques such as batik, wood carving, beadwork, and mural painting continue to be celebrated, while contemporary artists experiment with mixed media, digital art, and installations. Familiarize yourself with these techniques and materials to appreciate the craftsmanship and skill behind each artwork. Some artists also incorporate found objects or recycled materials, contributing to the narrative of sustainability and environmental consciousness.

  14. Art as an Investment: While purchasing African paintings should primarily be driven by personal appreciation and connection to the artwork, it is worth considering the investment potential. The global interest in African art has been growing, leading to increased recognition and demand for African artists' works. However, art markets can be unpredictable, and investment potential varies from artist to artist. If you have a specific interest in art as an investment, consult art market experts or advisors who can provide insights into the market trends and potential value appreciation.

  15. Curating a Collection: Building a collection of African paintings allows you to create a cohesive narrative and showcase your appreciation for African art. Consider the themes, styles, and artists that resonate with you, and curate your collection accordingly. Grouping paintings based on cultural themes, artistic techniques, or specific periods can create a visually compelling and thought-provoking display. Documenting your collection with photographs and detailed information about each artwork will enhance its historical and archival value.

  16. Supporting Local Artists and Communities: When purchasing African paintings, consider supporting local artists and communities directly. Buying from artists or galleries based in Africa can have a more significant impact on the artists' livelihoods and the local art ecosystem. This direct connection also allows for a deeper understanding of the artist's cultural context and artistic journey. Additionally, some organizations and initiatives focus on empowering African artists and promoting fair trade practices. Supporting these endeavors ensures that the artists receive fair compensation for their work and contributes to the sustainable development of African art.


Buying African paintings is an opportunity to embrace the beauty, diversity, and cultural richness of the African continent. By delving into regional styles, understanding artistic techniques, appreciating the investment potential, curating a collection, and supporting local artists and communities, you can embark on a fulfilling journey of acquiring meaningful and captivating artworks. Remember, the true value of African paintings lies in the stories they tell, the connections they forge, and the appreciation they bring for the vibrant artistic heritage of Africa.

At Tinga Tinga Art, we are proud to offer a wide selection of authentic African paintings that celebrate the vibrant cultures, stunning landscapes, and diverse artistic expressions of the African continent. Our online platform,, serves as a gateway for art enthusiasts and collectors to discover and acquire unique pieces of African art, specifically focusing on contemporary, cultural, landscape, and abstract paintings.

With a deep appreciation for the rich artistic heritage of Africa, we curate our collection to showcase the works of both established and emerging African artists. Our artists employ a variety of techniques and materials, ranging from traditional methods to innovative approaches, resulting in captivating and thought-provoking artworks. Whether you are drawn to the colorful and symbolic motifs of West African art or the serene beauty of East African landscapes, our carefully curated collection represents the diverse regional styles and influences found throughout Africa.

At Tinga Tinga Art, we understand the importance of authenticity and ethical sourcing. We work closely with artists, galleries, and collectors to ensure that each painting we offer is genuine and accompanied by proper documentation that verifies its origin and authenticity. Our commitment to transparency and ethical practices means that you can confidently explore our collection, knowing that every artwork has been sourced and acquired responsibly.

We believe in fostering connections between collectors and artists. Our platform provides a space for you to engage with the stories and inspirations behind each painting, enabling a deeper understanding of the cultural context and artistic journey of the African artists we represent. We encourage you to explore the artist profiles, read about their creative processes, and discover the narratives that inform their works. By connecting collectors with artists, we aim to facilitate a meaningful exchange that goes beyond the act of purchasing art.

Tinga Tinga Art recognizes that buying African paintings is not only an aesthetic pursuit but also an opportunity to make a positive impact. We are dedicated to supporting the local African art communities and ensuring that the artists receive fair compensation for their work. By purchasing paintings from our website, you contribute to the sustainable development of African art and empower the talented artists who create these magnificent pieces.

Our user-friendly website,, provides a seamless and secure browsing and purchasing experience. Each artwork is accompanied by detailed descriptions, high-resolution images, and pertinent information about the artist, allowing you to make informed decisions. We prioritize customer satisfaction and provide excellent customer service, assisting you throughout the process, from selecting the perfect piece to delivering it safely to your doorstep.

In conclusion, at Tinga Tinga Art, we are passionate about sharing the beauty and cultural significance of African paintings with art enthusiasts and collectors worldwide. Visit our website,, to embark on a journey of discovery and acquire exceptional African paintings that will add a touch of African elegance and creativity to your art collection. Join us in celebrating the rich artistic heritage of Africa and supporting the talented artists who continue to shape the African art scene.

Size Guide

Centimeters (CM)

Inches (IN)

50CM x 40CM

19 11/16 in X 15 3/4 in

50CM x 50CM

19 11/16 in X 19 11/16 in

60CM x 60CM

23 5/8 in X 23 5/8 in

70CM x 50CM

27 9/16 in X 19 11/16 in

80CM x 60CM

31 1/2 in X 23 5/8 in

100CM x 80CM

39 3/8 in X 31 1/2 in

140CM x 110CM

55 1/8 in X 43 5/16 in