What is an art authentication?

The solely recognized authenticator makes an art authenticity certificate for an artist. A solely recognized authenticator is an expert that certifies a painting is authentic or isn't. Major auction houses recognize this expert all over the world. Usually, this expert is somebody who knew the artist. Sometimes it is a family member like for Picasso: the expert is Claude Picasso, or an individual or an organization that worked for many years on the study of an old master. For example, Julius Held was the unanimously recognized expert for Peter Paul Rubens artworks. Today this privilege comes to the Rubenianum in Antwerpen, Belgium. The authentication of the authorship of an old master painting is complicated, especially for artists like Rembrandt, Raphael, etc. The approval of several important experts will be required, making it very difficult to obtain and takes a very long time. Today, if someone wants to obtain an authenticity certificate for a Raphael painting, it will take a minimum of 5 years and will be very expensive. What these authentication experts request: A/ photos 3 black and white photos 5 x 6 or similar 3 color photos 5 x 6 or similar An ektachrome transparency was requested but with the digital technology we have today, they like to receive very large digital photos of the artwork on a USB file. Needless to say that the photos are supposed to be made by a professional photographer. B/ documents 1/ the complete explanation of the provenance of the painting. The provenance is the way an owner came into possession of an artwork. This document must be verifiable. It is not enough to say I received the painting from Picasso himself New Year's eve 1957. You need to have documents of justification like photos etc. 2/ a condition report: showing the restoration done to the artwork, the actual state of conservation, 3/ photos of the back of the artwork and detailed photos of all annotations made to the canvas of the frame or on the back of the artwork. Photos of patches of restorations etc. 4/ eventually a bill of sale from a gallery or an individual from whom the artwork was bought. It is strongly advised to ask an expert to help you : 1/to create the file 2/to represent you to the solely recognized authenticity expert. An experienced expert will create the file described above. But also a file including but not restricted to: Justification of authenticity by comparison with other works by the artist Comparison with other works made by the same artist of the same period. Reestablish the works in the "catalogue raisonne". Research about the historic, provenance, etc. Reestablish the historical of the painting. Graphology analysis of handwriting. Signature analysis. On site analysis of painting. Eventually study of the pigments. Study of the support. Study of the manner. Wood lamp test. Comparison with other artists of the same period etc. We represent the owner of the artwork to the authenticator. Especially with French artists and French-recognized authenticators, it is advised to have someone to represent you. In France, an authenticator for an artist has the authority to seize an artwork he believes is a copy or a fake, and has the authority to let destroy it under legal authorities supervision. The authenticator can't seize the artwork if the owner is not present at the meeting.

What is an art authentication?

The solely recognized authenticator makes an art authenticity certificate for an artist. A solely recognized authenticator is an expert...