How to buy a genuine picture
Authentication methods when buying paintings, graphics and other works of modern art.
When you are going to buy an expensive enough painting to invest money, as a gift, or just to decorate the interior, the question inevitably arises: how to verify the authenticity of the painting.
The question is not very simple, since there is no single universal way of proving the authenticity of a picture. In each case, you have to be creative in your examination. When buying a painting, it is better to adhere to a few residually simple rules.
PROVENANCE or painting history
A so-called PROVENANCE, the history of the existence of a painting, has a very important influence on the value of a painting. Try to buy paintings from reliable sellers or from people who can explain, and it is advisable to document, where they got this painting, who it belonged to before they were bought. In our country, this issue has always not been given proper attention, just as there was no proper attitude to property, artistic heritage. So documentary evidence of the ownership of the painting is very rare and good luck. Nevertheless, it is better to be interested in this issue.
Often evidence of authenticity is a receipt from the artist’s wife or children who were forced to sell his collection.
We turn to an art critic
In addition, it must be remembered that there are art criticisms. You need an art critic who specializes in the work of this artist. The expert compares the style of writing the picture with those paintings whose authenticity is not in doubt. The technique of smear, the features of constructing the composition, the style of writing the picture and other characteristics are compared.
To prove the authenticity of the paintings, they resort to x-ray analysis. An X-ray photograph of the studied painting is taken and this photograph is compared with a photograph of the paintings of this artist, whose authenticity has already been proven.
When faking paintings, an external pattern is often emitted, but on the translucent it becomes visible what brush strokes this pattern is achieved. Those. the bricks of the picture are visible. Often this allows you to identify the “recorded” picture. For example, the artist worked in large strokes, and the X-ray image shows that the strokes are small, there are multiple rewriting of details, etc. This may indicate a copy of the picture.
Carina’s underscore examination
In addition, to determine the authenticity of the paintings there is underscore examination. If the painting is signed, then the signature is also compared with the signature of the paintings, the authenticity of which is not in doubt.
We try chemistry
There is also a chemical analysis of the material from which the picture is made, a chemical analysis of paint, canvas, etc. The question of chemical analysis is especially important when it comes to buying an antique painting. The cost of such a picture greatly depends on the century in which it was made. Chemical analysis answers these questions. True, errors are possible here. For example, an old painting has areas of later restoration. It is likely that the expert conducting the chemical analysis will take a “sample” of this particular restored area and make a conclusion about the later origin of the picture. In addition to the age of the composition, its chemical composition is determined, which can also be a confirmation of the authenticity of the picture. For example, it is known what composition the paint of this or that period had at one or another workshop.
Take risks and win
In any case, as we have said, there is no universal method. Any purchase of a picture is fraught with the risk of making a mistake. And this risk is higher, the higher the rates.
Many professional collectors, investors in paintings, contemporary and antique paintings buy paintings by famous artists whose authenticity has not been established. But their experience suggests that they can prove the authenticity of this picture.
Next, a lot of work is being done to establish the authenticity of the picture. If the authenticity of the picture is confirmed, then the purchase becomes a significant investment. The cost of such a picture, with proven provenance, increases manifold. So a lot of well-known art market dealers work. Such investments usually pay off with interest.
The more expensive the picture, the higher the risk
The likelihood of a fake increases with the cost of the painting or the popularity of the artist. Just any fake is worth the money. The higher the price of the issue, the higher the temptation to make such a fake. Fakes are rare among the “middle” segment of painting – the price does not exceed tens of thousands of dollars. Also not a high probability to meet fakes among the works of contemporary artists who have not yet reached their popularity.
Most likely to meet a “fake” among the famous paintings of Western European artists or among the famous paintings of Russian masters. The Russian art market experienced a real boom, during which a sufficient number of works of dubious authenticity spilled onto the market. Even among famous auction houses such as Christie’s.