Animal Crossing Art Guide

I was very excited when Animal Crossing: New Horizons made it possible for players to obtain artworks in the game. One of my favorite things to do in any game is to collect items, and so I loved being able to find new things to donate to Blathers in the museum. I always felt a little guilty giving him bugs seeing as he’s scared of them, so I was glad to have something else to give him that he was passionate about. There’s so much to learn, and so this Animal Crossing art guide should clear up all your questions.

In this guide, we’ll learn what purpose these artworks serve in the game, how to receive them, what to do with them, and the different types of artwork available. I’ll also cover the inspiration behind each piece, as well as how to spot whether it’s real or fake. So, without further ado, let’s get into it!

Bottom Line Up-Front

  • How many paintings are there? 30
  • How many statues are there? 13
  • How do you unlock the art exhibit? Donate 60 other items to the Museum
  • Who sells your artwork? Jolly Redd, either at his boat or on Harv’s Island

What is Art in Animal Crossing: New Horizons?

Artworks are an item that you can receive in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. There is a range of paintings and statues, with 43 pieces available in total – 13 statues and 30 paintings. They will appear with the leaf symbol when in your inventory. Like any other leaf symbol item, they do not stack in your inventory even if you have multiple of the same piece. It’s also worth noting that the artwork name will display identically whether it’s real or fake.

Artworks serve several functions. Firstly, and most importantly, they can be donated to Blathers at the Museum. Bear in mind that to unlock the art exhibit, you first need to donate a total 0f 60 bugs, fish, and fossils (it doesn’t matter how much of each you’ve donated, as long as it totals 60 between the three sections). You will also need to have encountered Redd and bought your first artwork. Donated items will be displayed in the Museum and you can learn more about the piece by reading the plaque.

You can also choose to display the pieces around your island. Statues can be placed directly upon the ground, but unsurprisingly cannot be hung. With paintings, though, you have a choice. You can either hang them by standing inside your home within a reasonable distance of the wall and selecting that option. Otherwise, you can choose to ‘place items’, and they will appear on the ground, stacked on an easel for display. You can display them regardless of whether they’re real or fake.

How to Get Artworks

With so many different artworks to collect, you may be concerned about where to even go about finding them. But worry not, there are numerous ways that you can obtain the different pieces. This section will cover every possible method of getting new artworks.

Redd’s Boat

Animal Crossing Wiki

This was the original method to get artworks when they were first added to the game. Jolly Redd is a charming yet conniving fox, and he considers himself quite the connoisseur. When you first encounter him, he’ll be wandering around your island, just like when other NPCs such as C.J or Flick come to visit. You’ll need to speak with him and buy the first artwork that he offers before his boat will become available regularly.

Once you’ve encountered him that first time, he will appear intermittently on your island. You can tell when he’s about as Isabelle’s daily announcement will mention that people have complained of buying fake artworks. You can find his boat by heading to the very back of your island, on that little section of beach behind the cliffs. You will be able to climb aboard his boat and look at the wares he has on sale.

Redd will have brought with him four different artworks. This is convenient as there’s a higher chance of at least one of them being something new that you don’t already have in your collection. However, you should be aware that Redd does sell fake artworks (you can find more about how to spot them later on in this article). Usually, there will only be one real artwork and three fake artworks on sale in his boat. However, there is a slim possibility of having multiple real ones.

You should be very careful about which artwork you choose to buy. You can only buy one per day, so if there are multiple real ones on sale, you’ll have to decide which one to go for. There’s no guarantee that the other will be present the next time that he visits.

Harv’s Island

With the exciting Animal Crossing: New Horizons 2.0 update, players were able to upgrade Harv’s Island to accommodate a range of services. Among the venders in the new commune is Jolly Redd. You can unlock him by donating 100,000 bells to the relevant gyroid (located on the right-hand side of the Harv’s Island commune, one up from the bottom). His stall will be available the day after donating the full amount.

This update was incredibly convenient for improving the chances of increasing your collection. Each day, Redd will be selling two artworks. Whichever one you don’t buy will remain there the next day. That means that for over a week, you will be exposed to 8 different pieces of art. Be aware that there’s no guarantee that either of these will be real. It’s entirely possible for them to both be fake. His stock refreshes every week on Monday.

If you have two fake artworks to choose from, it’s sometimes wise to buy one anyway. That way, the next day there will be a new artwork in its place, and that new one might be real. Otherwise, you’d have to wait until Monday to see new artworks, and that can slow the collecting down. But there’s no point buying a fake artwork on Sunday, as both pieces will be replaced the next day anyway. Just like on his boat, Jolly Redd limits you to one purchase per day.

Villager Gifts

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This occurs much less frequently than you might like, and so it’s not a particularly efficient way of increasing your collection. However, every little helps, as they say. Although it’s not a method to rely upon if you want to fill up your Museum, it’s still a convenient way of getting extra pieces.

Villagers will sometimes give you gifts, and these can be a range of items. If you have a high friendship with a villager, there’s a chance that they will send you a painting in the mail. It will be attached as a present to a piece of mail, and you can obtain it and open it once you’ve checked the mail. Otherwise, you can get gifts by first giving a gift to the villager. If the value of the item you give them is 2,500 bells or higher, they’ll give you something in return. This reciprocal gift could be anything, though, and it’s usually clothes, so don’t get your hopes up that it will be art.

Unfortunately, your villagers won’t be as discerning as you when it comes to checking the quality. After all, they don’t have access to an Animal Crossing art guide to determine whether an artwork is real or fake. So even if they do give you artwork as a gift, there’s still a chance that it could be a fake, so you should get it appraised by Blathers.

Another Player

Ah, the wonders of the internet. Gone are the days when you have to struggle through a game fulfilling everything all by yourself. Nowadays, we can just get help from another player. To do this, you’ll first need to get a subscription to Nintendo Switch Online. Unfortunately, this doesn’t come as standard, so you will need to purchase it. You can do this from the Nintendo eShop for $19.99.

To get artworks, you can either go to the other player or have them come to you. If you want to go to them, you’ll need to go to the Airport. Tell Orville the dodo that you want to fly, and when he asks where, tell him you want to visit another player’s island. You’ll then need to input the unique code that the other player will have given you (alternatively you can add them as a friend and select them from your friend’s list). Then once you arrive, you can pick up the artworks from the other player’s island (they can drop them on the ground for you to pick up).

Alternatively, you can open up your island for the other player to come to you. This option is more convenient if you’re picking up artworks from multiple players. Tell Orville that you want visitors, and he’ll provide you with a unique Dodo Airlines code that you can give to other players. When they arrive, they can simply drop the artworks on the ground for you to pick up.

You can find other players to give art to you by searching for specific Facebook groups dedicated to connecting players. Some players may be willing to give you the art for free out of the kindness of their hearts. Others may want to sell them for bells, but they’d likely ask a much higher price than the art is worth. Some players may instead want to trade for items such as crafting materials or Nook Miles Tickets.

All the Artworks in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

So, time to explore the artworks themselves! In this section, I’ll briefly explain the real-life painting/ statue that the artwork is based on, as well as how to determine whether or not the artwork is fake. I studied art as part of my Philosophy A-Level, and so I recognize quite a few of these artworks from my school days.

Academic Painting

Vitruvian Man
Animal Crossing Wiki

Artist: Leonardo da Vinci

Title: Vitruvian Man

One of the most famous depictions of anatomy there is, da Vinci’s artwork showcases the ideal proportions for a human male. To tell if this is fake, look for a coffee stain in the top right. The real one has no such stain.

Amazing Painting

Animal Crossing Wiki

Artist: Rembrandt

Title: The Night Watch

A very busy painting featuring a whole host of characters. It can be a little hard to spot the fake at first due to the lack of contrast. However, when you focus, you can see that in the fake, the man with the red sash does not have a hat on his head like he’s supposed to.

Basic Painting

Animal Crossing Wiki

Artist: Thomas Gainsborough

Title: The Blue Boy

I can’t say I’m a huge fan of this one, but to be honest, that’s true of most classical art as I prefer more abstract ideas. To spot the fake, look at the boy’s hair. In the fake one, he has an even fringe, whereas in the real one there’s a patch of hair jutting out at the front.

Calm Painting

Animal Crossing Wiki

Artist: Georges Seurat

Title: A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte

The title is certainly a mouthful for this one! I love how peaceful this painting is, and fortunately, it is always real.

Common Painting

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Artist: Jean-Francois Millet

Title: The Gleaners

This painting features three women bending over and picking stray stalks of wheat. Just like with Calm Painting, there is no fake option for this one.

Detailed Painting

Animal Crossing Wiki

Artist: Ito Jakuchu

Title: Rooster and Hen with Hydrangeas

I love the use of color in this one, and honestly, I prefer the fake! Thankfully, it’s also very easy to spot. In the fake one, the flowers are purple, whereas, in the real one, the flowers are blue.

Dynamic Painting

Artist: Hokusai

Title: The Great Wave Off Kanagawa

A very famous painting this one, you’ve likely seen it many times throughout your life as it’s popular on stationery items such as notebooks. It has such a distinctive style and shape, and that’s probably why Animal Crossing: New Horizons decided to make it always authentic.

Famous Painting

Animal Crossing Wiki

Artist: Leonardo da Vinci

Title: The Mona Lisa

Fun fact, I’ve seen this painting in person at the Louvre in France! Honestly, I think it’s a bit overrated for what it is. Anyway, to spot the fake, look into her eyes. The fake one has raised eyebrows, giving her an unnatural expression.

Flowery Painting

Animal Crossing Wiki

Artist: Vincent van Gogh

Title: Sunflowers

Most people pronounce this artist’s name incorrectly, so if you’re interested, the ‘Gogh’ part sounds a bit like ‘hokh’. The painting is simple but effective and is well-liked by many art lovers. This painting is always real.

Glowing Painting

Animal Crossing Wiki

Artist: J.M.W Turner

Title: The Fighting Temeraire

There’s an otherworldly sheen to this painting, and I love the use of color to create that glowing effect. The details are blurry, but I think that adds to the charm of the piece. There’s no fake for this painting.

Graceful Painting

Animal Crossing Wiki

Artist: Hishikawa Moronobu

Title: Beauty Looking Back

The Japanese art style is very apparent in the use of shape and color and can be easily differentiated from Western art. The fake is considerably taller than the real one. In the real one, approximately one-third of the canvas is left clear at the top, whereas in the fake she takes up nearly the whole space.

Jolly Painting

Animal Crossing Wiki

Artist: Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Title: Summer

A highly unusual composition, this painting creates a portrait out of various fruits and vegetables, and the result is rather disconcerting. To spot the fake, look at the chest area. The real one has an artichoke bud sticking out of it, whereas the fake has an unadorned chest.

Moody Painting

Animal Crossing Wiki

Artist: Jean-Francois Millet

Title: The Sower

Millet clearly likes drawing random people in otherwise empty fields, just as with his Common Painting. And apparently, Animal Crossing: New Horizons has no wish to alter his work, as this one also has no fake option.

Moving Painting

Animal Crossing Wiki

Artist: Sandro Botticelli

Title: The Birth of Venus

This well-known painting features a woman (Venus) emerging from a shell and using her hands to protect her modesty whilst an attendant tries to cover her with a cloth. The forgery can be spotted by observing the top right of the picture. In the real one, you will see trees, whereas the fake has no trees and a few extra flowers.

Mysterious Painting

Animal Crossing Wiki

Artist: Arnold Böcklin

Title: Isle of the Dead

I’m not sure what it is about this painting, but it speaks to my soul. To me, it represents peace and freedom, but that’s probably my introverted side speaking. At any rate, with this painting, you can be assured that you’re always getting the real thing.

Nice Painting

Animal Crossing Wiki

Artist: Édouard Manet

Title: The Fifer

Honestly, I think there would have been much more interesting Manet paintings that Nintendo could’ve chosen to include instead of this one. In my personal opinion, it’s very bland. However, at least you don’t have to worry about it ever being a fake.

Perfect Painting

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Artist: Paul Cézanne

Title: Apples and Oranges

I remember being in year 7 Art class and having to draw bowls of fruit. It was so mind-numbingly boring, and I’ve never understood why artists would choose such a monotonous subject matter. Still, Cézanne did, and it helped make him famous, so I guess it has its merits. This painting is always real.

Proper Painting

Animal Crossing Wiki

Artist: Édouard Manet

Title: A Bar at the Folies-Bergére

This is a much better example than The Fifer to showcase what Manet is capable of. There’s so much going on, and you can even see a whole room full of people reflected in the mirror. Just like the three paintings above, this one is also always authentic.

Quaint Painting

Animal Crossing Wiki

Artist: Johannes Vermeer

Title: The Milkmaid

Quaint is a very apt word for this painting, there’s not much going on but it depicts such a simple life. I don’t like it, but I don’t hate it either. In the real one, there’s a barely visible trickle of milk, whereas the fake one has milk positively pouring out of the pot.

Scary Painting

Artist: Toshusai Sharaku

Title: Kabuki Actor Otani Oniji III as Yakko Edobei in the Play The Colored Reins of a Loving Wife (Koi nyobo some wake tazuna)

So, this terrifying painting has possibly the longest title in the world. Seriously, couldn’t Sharaku have thought of something a bit catchier? To spot the fake, look at the expression on the face. The real one has glaring, menacing eyebrows, whereas the fake is raising his eyebrows in fear.

Scenic Painting

Animal Crossing Wiki

Artist: Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Title: The Hunters in the Snow

Plenty going on in this landscape depiction of a town in the snowy hills. I’m a big fan of the birds swooping in the background. You’re going to need to do some counting to spot the fake. The real one has three people and more dogs, whereas the fake has only one person and two fewer dogs.

Serene Painting

Animal Crossing Wiki

Artist: Leonarda da Vinci

Title: Lady with an Ermine

If you’ve never even heard of an ermine before, I don’t blame you, as it’s more commonly known as a stoat. Still, it looks pretty adorable, like a ferret. In the fake, the ermine has grey fur on its upper body, whereas the real one is white all over.

Sinking Painting

Animal Crossing Wiki

Artist: John Everett Millais

Title: Ophelia

A truly beautiful depiction of scenery, Millais has great command over his paintbrush. I love the attention to detail for colors and textures, and the whole artwork is a masterpiece. This painting is always real.

Solemn Painting

Animal Crossing Wiki

Artist: Diego Velázquez

Title: Las Meninas

For some reason, I keep getting this painting in my game. It’s nearly always the only real one when I go to visit Redd’s boat, and it’s appeared several times at his stall on Harv’s Island. I’m sick of it. This is also one of the hardest fakes to spot. In the real one, the man standing in the hallway at the back is touching the wall, whereas in the fake his arm is slightly raised.

Twinkling Painting

Animal Crossing Wiki

Artist: Vincent Van Gogh

Title: The Starry Night

I adore this painting, much like the majority of the art world. It’s so unique in its style and creates such a wistful, moving ambiance. Lego recently released a version of this painting and I was sorely tempted to buy it. This painting is always genuine.

Warm Painting

Animal Crossing Wiki

Artist: Francisco Goya

Title: The Clothed Maja

This painting does nothing for me. It’s just a random woman lying on a bed, I don’t get why that would be interesting to anyone. But still, it goes to show how different people have different tastes. Regardless, you don’t have to spend any time studying it as there’s no fake version.

Wild Painting (Left Half)

Artist: Tawaraya Sotatsu

Title: Wind God and Thunder God

This painting was created on two folding screens, hence why Animal Crossing: New Horizons has it appears in two halves. These two are also the only paintings that are displayed directly on the ground like statues. In this Left Half, the fake version has a dark hue, whereas the genuine one is light.

Wild Painting (Right Half)

Artist: Tawaraya Sotatsu

Title: Wind God and Thunder God

To spot the fake, apply the opposite rule to the left half. In this Right Half, the fake version is of a light hue, but the authentic one is dark.

Wistful Painting

Animal Crossing Wiki

Artist: Johannes Vermeer

Title: Girl with a Pearl Earring

Another example of a painting that became far more famous than it had any right to be. Don’t get me wrong, I do like it, but there are just so many better pieces of art. You’ll need to pay close attention to spot the fake. The real one has a drop-shaped earring, whereas the fake is star-shaped.

Worthy Painting

Animal Crossing Wiki

Artist: Eugène Delacroix

Title: Liberty Leading the People

Let’s hear it for revolution! This grim yet somehow optimistic depiction shows the people raising a red flag amidst a pile of bodies, guns waving proudly in the air. This painting is always real.

Ancient Statue

Artist: Unknown Jomon sculptors

Title: Shakoki dogu

This uncanny rock statue is adorned with intricate patterns carved into stone, and the figure is roughly humanoid. In the fake, there is a pair of antennae protruding from the side of the eyes, whereas in the real one there’s nothing on the side of its head.

Beautiful Statue

Artist: Alexandros of Antioch

Title: Venus de Milo

Unfortunately, this statue was damaged over time, and the discovered sculpture was missing parts such as its arms. Either way, you can see the attention to detail that went into carving it. The fake version has a set of necklaces, whereas, in the real one, the neck is left bare.

Familiar Statue

Animal Crossing Wiki

Artist: Auguste Rodin

Title: The Thinker

Whenever I watch a TV show and a character wants to get into modeling, they nearly always choose The Thinker is one of their poses, it’s just become a trope. It’s certainly a very expressive statue. This one is always authentic.

Gallant Statue

Animal Crossing Wiki

Artist: Michelangelo

Title: David

Arguably the most famous statue in the world, David currently resides in the Accademia Gallery in Florence, Italy. One could question whether nudity is suitable for a children’s game, but admittedly it is a fine art. The fake version is holding a book between his arm and torso, whereas the real one is carrying nothing.

Great Statue

Artist: Thomas Ridgeway Gould

Title: Kamehameha Statue

I love this one, but at first, I thought it was fake due to the ‘Kamehameha’ that’s carved into its base. I honestly had no idea it was a real word and thought it just came from Dragon Ball Z. This statue is bold and commanding. It’s also always real.

Informative Statue

Animal Crossing Wiki

Artist: Unknown Egyptian scribes

Title: Rosetta Stone

This fascinating relic was one of the main reasons that modern researchers were able to decipher Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs due to having the same inscription in three different scripts. This is probably the easiest artwork when it comes to spotting the fake. The real one is grey like stone, and the fake one is bright blue.

Motherly Statue

Animal Crossing Wiki

Artist: Unknown sculptors

Title: Capitoline Wolf

Carved from bronze, this statue depicts the supposed origins of the founders of Rome – Romulus and Remus. To spot the fake, look closely at the mouth. On the fake one, the tongue is hanging out, whereas on the real one it’s not visible.

Mystic Statue

Animal Crossing Wiki

Artist: Thutmose of Ahketaten

Title: Bust of Nefertiti

I thought the real one was fake the first time I saw this because of how damaged it is. Alas, that was just the effects of time on what was once a pristine statue. The fake one has an earring dangling from her right ear, whereas the real one contains no jewelry.

Robust Statue

Animal Crossing Wiki

Artist: Myron of Eleutherae

Title: Townley Discobulus

This statue depicts a man about to throw a discus, and the pose chosen is very intriguing. But anachronism alert! The fake one is wearing a watch around his wrist, which is pretty easy to spot as watches didn’t exist back in those days. Watches were invented around the 1500s.

Rock-head Statue

Artist: Unknown Olmec sculptors

Title: Olmec colossal head 1

Olmecs are renowned as being the earliest known Mesoamerican civilization, existing roughly between 1,600 and 400 BC. This giant stone head makes me feel uncomfortable because of all the holes in it. The real version has a solemn expression, whereas the fake one has a slight smile.

Tremendous Statue

Animal Crossing Wiki

Artist: Unknown Shang sculptors

Title: Houmuwu ding

This rectangular statue is sculpted from bronze into a type of ancient Chinese cauldron known as a ding. The fake one has a handle in the centre at the top, whereas the real one is flat along the top except for the handles on the two sides.

Valiant Statue

Artist: Unknown Thracian sculptors

Title: Winged Victory of Samothrace

This poor statue has been through the mill, ending up headless during its journey throughout time. The real version has her right leg in front, whereas the fake has her left leg in front.

Warrior Statue

Artist: Unknown Qin sculptors

Title: Terracotta Army soldier

These fascinating soldier statues known as the Terracotta Army was sculpted to guard the tomb of the first Chinese Emperor, believed to protect him in the afterlife. The real version has its arms crossed resolutely at its waist, whereas in the fake it’s holding a shovel.


And there we have it! Hopefully, this Animal Crossing art guide has helped clear up any questions you had surrounding how artworks interact with the game. There’s certainly a lot of fascinating history to learn about, and now you have the means to research any of your favorite paintings. You’re also able to spot the fakes to ensure that your collecting doesn’t get derailed. Good luck!


Question: When was Art Introduced in Animal Crossing: New Horizons?

Answer: Although added to the game relatively early on, art was not available at launch. Instead, it was introduced on the 23rd of April 2020 as part of Earth Day. It has been available as a feature ever since. However, Blathers does not begin accepting donations of artwork until you have donated a total of 60 items to the museum (either bugs, fish, fossils, or sea creatures).

Question: Will New Art Pieces be Introduced to Animal Crossing: New Horizons?

Answer: Unfortunately, Nintendo has confirmed that the 2.0 update will be the last major update to the game, and so they will not be adding any new features. As such, we will not get any new pieces of artwork that are not already available to receive in-game. However, the feature has proven popular and is likely to make an appearance in any future games.

Question: What Kind of Animal is Redd in Animal Crossing?

Answer: The main character associated with artworks, Redd at first glance appears to be a fox. And whilst this is accurate to an extent, he’s likely based on the mythical Japanese creature of a kitsune. These were mischievous foxlike demons who would trick people. Seeing as Redd can sometimes sell you fake artwork, he’s as tricky as the kitsune mythology that he’s based on.

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