How to buy an authentic painting
Methods for verifying authenticity when purchasing paintings, graphics, and other works of modern art.
When you are going to buy a fairly expensive painting to invest money, as a gift, or just to decorate the interior, the question inevitably arises: how to make sure the authenticity of the picture.
The question is not very simple, since there is no single universal way to prove the authenticity of the picture. In each individual case, you have to be creative about the issue of expertise. When buying a picture, it is better to follow a few residual simple rules.
PROVENANCE or history of the painting
A very important influence on the cost of the picture is the so – called PROVENANCE-the history of the existence of the picture. Try to buy paintings from reliable sellers or from people who can explain, and preferably document, where they got this picture, who it belonged to before they bought it. In our country, this issue has always been neglected, as there was no proper attitude to property and artistic heritage. So documentary confirmation of the history of ownership of the painting is a rarity and good luck. But nevertheless, it is better to be interested in this question.
Often the certificate of authenticity is the receipt of the artist’s wife or children, who were forced to sell his collection.
We appeal to the art critic
In addition, it is necessary to remember that there are art criticism examinations. You need an art critic who specializes in the work of this artist. The expert compares the style of painting with those paintings whose authenticity is not in doubt. The brushstroke technique, composition construction features, painting style, and other characteristics are compared.
Shining with x-ray
To prove the authenticity of the paintings, they resort to x-ray analysis. An x-ray image of the painting being studied is taken and this image is compared with a picture of the artist’s paintings, whose authenticity has already been proven.
When faking paintings, they often emit an external drawing, but on the x-ray it becomes visible what strokes this drawing is achieved with. That is, you can see the building blocks of the picture. Often this allows you to identify the “recording” of the picture. For example, the artist worked with large strokes, but the x-ray image shows that the strokes are small, there are multiple rewrites of details, etc.This may indicate that the painting was copied.
Karina’s handwriting expertise
In addition, there is a handwriting examination to determine the authenticity of paintings. 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.
There is also a chemical analysis of the material from which the painting 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 depends greatly on the age in which it was made. Chemical analysis answers these questions. However, there may be errors here. For example, an old painting has sections of a 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 painting. 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 was in the paint of a particular period in a particular workshop.
Take risks and win
In any case, as we have already said, there is no universal method. Any purchase of a painting involves the risk of making a mistake. And this risk is higher the higher the stakes.
Many professional collectors, investors in paintings, modern 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.
Further, a lot of work is being done to establish the authenticity of the painting. If the authenticity of the painting is confirmed, then the purchase becomes a significant investment. The cost of such a picture, with a proven origin, increases many times. This is how a lot of well-known art market dealers work. Such investments usually pay off with a vengeance.
The more expensive the picture, the higher the risk
The probability of forgery increases with the increase in the cost of the picture or the popularity of the artist. It’s just that any forgery costs money. The higher the price of the question, the higher the temptation to make such a fake. Fakes are rare among the” average ” segment of painting-the price does not exceed tens of thousands of dollars. It is also not a high probability to find fakes among the works of modern artists who have not yet reached their popularity.
The most likely to find “falshak” 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 splashed out on the market. Even among famous auction houses like Christie’s. Sotheby’s, Bohams, etc. there are scandals when another buyer who paid fabulous sums for a picture doubted its authenticity, and after the purchase, the authenticity was denied.
In any case, try to gather as much information about the painting, about the artist about the seller about what kind of history painting, what are the supporting documents whether the signature pattern, are there any other guarantees of authenticity and other small, but often, very important issues.
Our contemporary art gallery
Please contact our consultants. We will help you prove the authenticity of your painting. Our gallery of modern art and online store of paintings “ARTIMEX” has a very good collection for profitable investment in modern art.