Buying works of art today is conjugated with many difficulties. Fraudsters pass off fakes as genuine items, deceiving not only amatory collectors but even world-famous patrons. How can you be sure of the authenticity of a painting, why does attribution in art exist, and why do authoritative experts sometimes make mistakes?
What are the specifics?
Attribution is checking the painting for authenticity carried out by certified experts. They have a deep knowledge of art and are able to examine the smallest artistic elements hidden from the eyes of an amateur.
Verification begins with collecting details about the painting’s origin story, s.s., how it came into the hands of the current owner. At this stage, the expert becomes an investigator. It is important, without missing any details, to evaluate the logic of the painting’s “journey.” If there is a lack of information, the expert can independently find “traces” of the painting in museums or galleries.
An important stage of verification is an inspection of the painting itself. In some cases, the work may be submitted to recognized universal authenticators to achieve this. For example, in Paris, there is the Picasso Museum, which has the artist’s administration. Each painter has his own single recognized universal authenticator.
During the evaluation, experts examine the painting using some special tools:
- magnifying glasses – to distinguish the artist’s brush strokes;
- under ultraviolet light – to identify traces of time.
Attribution is important not only for sales figures, but also for preserving the author’s intent as it was initially created by the artist. Art as a form of communication allows us to understand the thoughts of the past: each author puts a special meaning into his works. Therefore, only genuine samples clearly convey the author’s intention, while fakes (even ideal ones) can distort it.
Falsification of paintings
Every year, fakes are discovered in the exhibitions of state museums, private collections, and galleries. The very word “fake” in relation to paintings has a negative connotation, but fakes are not always created with bad intentions. Some painters make copies of famous artworks for training or out of simple curiosity. But this is only legal if an artist doesn’t try to sell his works as originals and simply keeps them to himself.
Many experts agree that half of the art on the market may be fakes. In order not to accidentally buy a fake under the guise of a true work, it is important to remember that questioning the authenticity is not only normal but also necessary. A minimal precaution can save you from making an extremely costly mistake.
It is not enough to have money to buy an expensive painting. You need to also have some knowledge yourself or to know reliable specialists who are ready to provide qualified assistance. Considering that there are numerous scammers today, it is not surprising that many fake paintings are sold as originals. You need to be extra careful and choose a reputable art attribution agent with proven experience in the field.