Forensic Science for Antiques

Carbon dating art forgery

One of them does not want the precious painting to disappear from Czartoryski Museum and orders a forgery of it. While these reprints are of limited value, the originals, printed during Man Ray's lifetime, have skyrocketed in value, leading many forgers to alter the reprints, so that they appear to be original. Image courtesy of Aniko Bezur.

On a more philosophical note, the science of detecting art forgeries speaks to a fundamental desire to understand, as fully as possible, exactly where and how something originated. Some legal experts have recommended strengthening existing intellectual property laws to address the growing problem of art forgeries proliferating in the mass market.

The aim of the foundation is to bring together experts from different specialities to combat art forgery. Fake prints would be nearly indistinguishable from originals, if the same photographic paper was used. Forgers will then return the copy to the owner, keeping the original for himself. Further analysis revealed that the surface paint was modern and had been applied so as not to obscure the craquelure of the original.

To hide inconsistencies or manipulations, forgers will sometimes glue paper, either new or old, to a painting's back, or cut a forged painting from its original size. During the classical period art was generally created for historical reference, religious inspiration, or simply aesthetic enjoyment.

These clues can be useful for determining the period in which a work of art was created. In such a way, forgeries can become objects of interest in their own right. While attempting to authenticate artwork, experts will also determine the piece's provenance.

In such a way

Forensic Science for Antiques

They also can gauge whether the chemical composition of a painting is consistent with that of other known paintings by the artist in question. His own work became valuable as well, which in turn attracted other forgers. Pigment analysis will tell whether the paints used were available during Monet's lifetime. Standard equipment used to analyze materials in artwork range from electron scanning microscopes to gas chromatography coupled with mass spectroscopy.

Although many art forgers reproduce works solely for money, some have claimed that they have created forgeries to expose the credulity and snobbishness of the art world. The analysis was able to correctly identify the five forged paintings. An art forger must be at least somewhat proficient in the type of art he is trying to imitate.

Education on art crime also requires research efforts from the scholarly community through analysis on fake and forged artworks. Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd. To identify their works, painters began to mark them. The wavelet decomposition method indicated that at least four different artists had worked on the painting.

While attempting to

He then sold it to a dealer, Baldassare del Milanese, who in turn sold it to Cardinal Riario of San Giorgio who later learned of the fraud and demanded his money back. Many forgers were once fledging artists who tried, unsuccessfully, to break into the market, eventually resorting to forgery.

For example, a sculpture may have been created obviously with modern methods and tools. To detect the work of a skilled forger, investigators must rely on other methods. This practice was generally considered a tribute, not forgery, although some of these copies have later erroneously been attributed to the master.

These clues can

Though experts may strive to rid the art world of forgeries, McClure noted that a piece could still have value, even after it is determined to be a fake. If an element is present that the investigators know was not used historically in objects of this type, then the object is not authentic.