Art appraisal: how to verify the authenticity of a work of art?

Published on : 19 May 20213 min reading time
For both amateurs and enthusiasts, acquiring a work of art is a lifelong goal. A painting fascinates by its artistic quality, its message and its market value. More and more reproductions are being produced in order to deceive buyers. Discover the methods to disentangle the true from the false.

Through an analysis of the work itself

Counterfeiters use every possible means to reproduce a work of art in several copies, in order make as much money as possible. With the help and know-how of some malicious artists, the reproductions are so well executed that it is easy to deceive buyers. This is why it is always necessary to prove the authenticity of a work of art.

In order to determine whether the work is authentic or not, it must enter a laboratory and undergo tests. Here, all the components of the painting are scrutinized by state-of-the-art equipment, so that the technicians can have all the necessary information at hand. Note that in the analysis procedure, three materials can be analyzed. Firstly, there is the wood that acts as a frame for the painting. Second, there is the paper that acts as a support and finally there is the paint used to make the painting.

By tracing the history of the artist

Proving the authenticity of a work of art is not limited to analyses in a laboratory. Indeed, it is also necessary to justify it through the history of the author. In fact, each artist has his own style and each painting is often the result of a significant event in the life of the artist. Thus, each authentic work must have a chronological coincidence with the life of its author. Moreover, a signature at the bottom of the work can give the painting the status of authentication. But this, after a careful graphological analysis.

Don’t trust just anyone

When it comes to proving the authenticity of a work of art, it is crucial to call upon professionals in the field. To carry out this mission, one needs a trained eye. On the other hand, the handling of all the laboratory equipment requires a very specific skill. By taking into account all these parameters, the analysts are able to give a more or less exact dating of the period during which the painting was done. Consequently, it is easy to make the connection between the work and its alleged author.

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