should artists sign their artwork?

Are illustrators, miniaturists superior than authors? I have been reading about this somewhere, where it has been written that illustrators are more skilled as compared to authors, as illustrating something without any flaw is much difficult as compared to expressing the same thing in words. But according to my opinion, a skill owned may it be writing, painting or anything else is equally good if utilised efficiently. It is not easy to express what you imagine or see in exact words to frame an exact scene in listener’s mind and coming on to illustration it is an act of memorizing a picture or anything in real and then depicting the same using your own colours, the only difference is here the viewer will see what has been conveyed by illustrator rather than imagine anything. The skill of depicting anything through words or canvas is an art and is not possessed with everyone. But does this skill needs necessarily a signature of the owner, is it possible to create a piece of art or work in the form of books or painting which can be called a master piece and does not need recognition, indeed it is very much possible and many have been created in the past, illustrators copy the master pieces and try to make it flawless and similar to original one, but this doesn’t just eliminates the necessity of a signature. Is it possible to create something so unique and recognizable that there is no need of signature so that the artwork itself can become the identity of the creator. In Persia and other Arab countries, the illustrators were of outmost importance and they copied the master pieces, at that time in this part of world signing on one’s work was considered against the rules, the skills were taught at special workshops to children to make them perfect miniaturists, illustrators and they were taught not to sign their work as it will create a flaw in the perfect illustration if created. The trend of signing a painting has been derived from France, where artists took proud in their creations even if they were imitated. Obviously the one major reason was to make owner recognizable even after ages which can otherwise be lost with time. I agree with French and infact am thankful to French who initiated this trend of signing, although m not an artist who can be recognized in the crowd, owning a small amateur skill also makes me sign my work irrespective of whether it will even by seen anyone. It just brings a sense of proud and completes the purpose of illustrationJ

Monica Dhiman

Tries to express her thoughts, observations and whatever bothers her a lot in form of words :)


  1. Further, Miniatures have been created in India for centuries, and are of course, not signed. Also, prints in Japan were never signed - The Great Wave off Kanagawa, one of the masterpieces in world painting, is from an unknown printmaker.

    Ah, that reminds me of Copie Conforme, if you haveb't seen the film, its worth a watch.

  2. ok give me the movie if you have :)