A Botticelli by Giunti

Dec 6, 2023 | Authentications & attributions, Fakes, Restoration

A Botticelli?

When the Madonna of the Veil was discovered in 1930, it was immediately considered a masterpiece by the Florentine Master.

In fact, it is a beautiful intentional forgery from the Sienese school of the “Painters of Ancient Paintings,” as the most famous among them, Joni, liked to define himself.

In this case, this sensual “masterpiece” in now attributed to Umberto Giunti, 1886-1970. 

The first doubts about the authenticity of the artwork arose when observing how the Madonna resembled a silent movie star, so popular in the thirties.

The painter took various elements from well-known works of the Renaissance painter and combined them on a skillfully “worm-eaten” board, adding cracks and also imitating the browning of the greens over the centuries.

But every artwork is a product of its time, even those of forgers!

Giunti did not know, or perhaps he did not care, that the materials he used, modern ones, would easily be discovered when the painting underwent chemical analysis.