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Is this Painting a Fake ?

A question of a rather interesting nature.

1.Who do you ask and whom can you trust?

Your own eye
Most importantly one can say “only buy what you personally like and can live with”. But is your new pride and joy authentic ? If you pay a few dollars for it this question becomes secondary, but if you pay a few million for it, this question will rise in ranking.

The sellers’ word
Monetary gain seems to overrule all moral ethics and sometimes you can’t even trust the members of your own family. To solely rely on the seller’s word can be a rather dubious path to embark on.

The provenance
A good indication of a work’s authenticity, however, many widows of famous artists have been found to substitute their pension by liberally signing all sorts of documents handed to them by eager sellers. A provenance’s authenticity, wherever it originates from, has to be researched as well rather carefully.

Scientific examination
To embark on this route is just about your best bet. A capable expert would apply scientific methods to determine the authenticity of a work of art. Only this can indicate its authenticity.

– Non-invasive investigating processes:
Microscopic and macroscopic investigation, ultraviolet, infrared or x ray diagnostics, spontaneous Raman Spectroscopy, Radio Carbon Dating & lead white dating technology and finger print analysis.

– Invasive investigating processes:
Cleaning and solubility testing

2. Who wants to know if this painting is a fake

The Owner
He most likely does not want to discover that his priced possession is a fake because it will no longer be valuable.

The Collector
They prefer to be blissfully ignorant of a fake, as they would have one fewer original on their walls to adorn their pride.

The Auction House
They would not like it to be discovered because by selling a fake they would loose face and commission.

The Museum or Gallery
They would look like a fool by acknowledging that artworks they had acquired for lots of money turned out to be not genuine. In the past many such accusations were either brushed under the carpet or the person stating such claims was simply dismissed.

The Criminal
He knows it is a fake and certainly does not want it to be discovered

The Person who thinks he’d paid too much
Here we have someone who would be interested in authenticity of an artwork


Book by Noah Charney – “The Art Thief”