A Forged Painting is the outcome of buying a fake painting from Crazy Redd. A forged painting appears as a regular painting until sold to Tom Nook or donated to Blathers at the Museum, where both may identify the picture.
Identifying a fake painting
Contrary to popular belief, in games prior to Animal Crossing: New Leaf, it is not possible to identify whether a painting is a forgery or not simply by Redd's emotions and dialogue. Indeed, it is not possible to tell the authenticity of a painting until the player buys it and takes it to Blathers in the museum. Sometimes a city villager will mention a fake painting.
Identifying a fake painting in Animal Crossing: New Leaf
In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, it is possible to determine whether or not a painting is forged by simple visual inspection. One or more areas of the painting will have a noticeable difference from the real painting.
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