Learning to photograph paintings to look close to what they are in life is something I’m working on.
Take this painting for example. I took a close-up (below) first, less that a foot away and a second one (above) from a distance of around 3 ft. I found that the close-up shot had focused on surface details which you dont see while viewing even if you go up close to peer at it. In the second one the surface details have disappeared almost completely. The actual piece is closer to the image on top – you can see a bit more colour on top than is visible here.
Keeping a distance from the source and later zooming in and cropping give a more faithful copy of the original.