Art Forgery: The Changing Ways of Spotting a Fake
March 18, 2012 by thevibeeditor 1 Comment
By Cressida Smart
Tom Keating, infamous art forger (Sourced from http://worldartresources.com/) Brought to life in films such as How to Steal a Million and The Thomas Crown Affair (1999), art forgery has been around since the beginning of time. The ancient Romans crafted thousands of copies of Greek sculptures, ancient China is noted for its wide variety of forgeries and modern art has seen more than its share of falsified work. Some forgeries are innocent enough, usually created by students copying a master, but others were created with the sole purpose of tricking an unsuspecting public into thinking they were the real deal. There are forgers that are so good at what they do that it’s virtually impossible to tell the difference between the original and the copy – leading to many museums, investors and galleries putting millions into complete fakes. With this in mind, it is vital therefore, to establish the authenticity of a work through examination. Some forgers have used artistic methods inconsistent with those of the original artists, such as incorrect characteristic brushwork, perspective, preferred themes or techniques, or have used colours that were not available during the artist’s lifetime to create the painting. Others have dipped pieces in chemicals to “age” them and some have even tried to imitate worm marks by drilling holes into objects. While attempting to authenticate artwork, experts will also determine the piece’s provenance. If the item has no paper trail, it is more likely to be a forgery. One of the most common methods is forensic examination used in Portrait of a Woman, attributed to Goya (1746-1828). Conventional X-ray is used to detect earlier work present under the surface of a painting. Often artists will legitimately re-use their own canvasses, but if the painting on top is supposed to be from the 17th century, but the one underneath shows...
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