Artworks Authentication and Attribution

“Oh, that I could discover the truth as easily as I can unmask the false!”.

utinam tam facile vera invenire possim quam falsa convincere

Marco Tullio Cicerone

The hope of discovering a lost masterpiece is the dream of many. And it happens. For example, it is not uncommon that artworks previously rejected as copies are found to be authentic and of great value.

We too have contributed to some of these discoveries, such as the “Perla di Modena” by Raphael, the “Saint Jerome” by Caravaggio and many others (see our Portfolio section)

What doesn’t happen is that copies, or versions, or outright forgeries, sustain misattribution for a long time.

Scientific investigation for the attribution of an artistic item

Attributing an original is much much more challanging than Discovering a fake, or a copy  

Scientific examination of painting

However, in both cases, a serious and accurate scientific investigation is required, as well as a scientific laboratory with adequate experience and equipment. Do not be seduced by those who propose improbable attributions, ignoring scientific evidence. You will be losing money and energy, as evidenced by many cases.

Especially in the past it was easy to produce a certificate of authenticity based only on the “impression” of the connoisseur, without risking anything in case the analyses uncovered that it was a fake.

It is time to be serious.

Art-Test’s motto is that of Leonardo:

“a small truth is better than a big lie”.