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Encyclopedia > Art forgery

Art forgery means creating and especially selling works of art that are falsely attributed to be work of other, usually more famous artists. Art forgery is extremely lucrative, but modern dating and analysis techniques make the identification of a piece of art much simpler. Art (or the creative arts) commonly refers to the act and process of making material works (or artworks) which, from concept to creation, hold a fidelity to the creative impulse —ie. ...

Contents


History

Art forgery dates back more than two-thousand years. Roman sculptors produced copies of Greek sculptures. Presumably the contemporary buyers knew that they were not genuine. The Roman Forum was the central area around which ancient Rome developed. ...


Before the commercial art market, copying a work of a master was considered a tribute, not a forgery. In the previous centuries, many painters like Rembrandt had workshops with apprentices that studied painting techniques by copying the works and style of the master. As a payment for the training, the master had a right to sell these works for money. Some of these works have been later erroneously attributed to the masters. Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (July 15, 1606 – October 4, 1669) is generally considered one of the greatest painters in European art history and the most important in Dutch history. ... A workshop is a room or building which provides both the area and tools (or machinery) that may be required for the manufacture or repair of goods. ... If youre looking for the TV show, see The Apprentice. ...


The art forgery became more prominent in the Renaissance when the interest of antiquities increased their value. This soon extended to contemporary and recently deceased artists. In the 16th century imitators of Albrecht Dürer's style of printmaking added signatures to them and thus increased the value of their own prints. These are currently considered forgeries. Some now famous artists, like Michelangelo, also created forgeries for their own reasons. By region Italian Renaissance Spanish Renaissance Northern Renaissance French Renaissance German Renaissance English Renaissance The Renaissance, also known as Il Rinascimento (in Italian), was an influential cultural movement which brought about a period of scientific revolution, religious reform and artistic transformation, at the dawn of modern European history. ... (15th century - 16th century - 17th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century was that century which lasted from 1501 to 1600. ... Self-Portrait, 1493, Oil on Canvas Albrecht Dürer (May 21, 1471 - April 6, 1528) was a German painter, wood carver, engraver, and mathematician of Hungarian ancestry. ... Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, colloquially known as Michelangelo, (March 6, 1475 - February 18, 1564) was a Renaissance sculptor, architect, painter, and poet. ...


The 20th century the art market has favored artists like Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso, Klee and Matisse and they have been common targets of art forgery. Usually the forgeries are sold to art galleries and auction houses who cater to the tastes of art and antiquities collectors. (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999 in the... Salvador Dalí as photographed in 1934 by Carl Van Vechten Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bumblebee around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening, 1944 Salvador Felip Jacint Dalí Domènech (May 11, 1904 – January 23, 1989) was an important Catalan Spanish painter, best known for his surrealist works. ... Young Pablo Picasso Pablo Ruiz Picasso (Full name) (October 25, 1881 in Málaga, Spain – April 8, 1973) was a Spanish painter. ... Paul Klee (December 18, 1879 – June 29, 1940) was a Swiss painter. ... Self-Portrait in a Striped T-shirt (1906). ... An art gallery or art museum is a space for the exhibition of art, usually visual art, and usually primarily paintings, illustrations, and sculpture. ... Collector - in electronics, the amplified terminal on a Bipolar junction transistor (PNP) or (NPN) list of collectors- People with note-worthy collections. ...


Nature of the forgery

Copies, replicas, reproductions and pastiches are legitimate works. They become forgeries when someone intentionally tries to pass them off as genuine items even if they know better. The word pastiche describes a literary or other artistic genre. ...


Sometimes a difference of a legitimate copy and deliberate forgery is blurred. Guy Hain used the original molds to create copies of Auguste Rodin's sculptures. What made them forgeries was that he signed them with the name of Rodin's original foundry. Guy Hain (?-) is a French art forger who produced number of fake bronze sculptures. ...


Art forgers

Art forger must be at least somewhat proficient in the area he is trying to imitate. Many forgers have been fledgling artists that have tried to get a break into the art market and eventually resorted on forgery. Some forgers have borrowed the original items, copied it and given the copy to the original owners.


Although many art forgers are in he business solely for money, some have claimed that they have created forgeries to expose the credulity and snobbishness of the art world, essentially claiming that they have performed only hoaxes of exposure. These claims have usually surfaced after they have been caught. A hoax is an attempt to trick an audience into believing that something false is real. ...


Most forgers usually copy artists who are already dead, but the others may try to imitate still living artists. At May 2004, for example, Norwegian painter Kjell Nupen noticed that a Kristianstad gallery was selling unauthorized signed copies of his work. Kristianstad is a municipality and city in Scania in southernmost Sweden. ...


If the dealer of the forged art is aware of the fraudulent nature of the item, they may end up exploiting the painter by threatening to expose them.


Some of the exposed forgers have later sold their work attributing them as honestly copies or selling them as their own work. Some forgers have actually gained enough notoriety to become famous for their own right. Forgeries painted by late Elmyr de Hory have become valuable collectibles in such an extent that now there are also forged de Horys. Elmyr De Hory (1906-1976) was a famous Hungarian-born painter and art forger whose forgeries have become popular in their own right. ...


Methods of detection

The most obvious forgeries are revealed because they are just clumsy copies of previous art. Forger may try to create a "new" work by combining elements of more than one work. They may omit details typical to the artist they are trying to imitate or add anachronisms. They may also try to claim that a slightly different copy is a previous version of the more famous work.


However, if the forger is skilled enough to create something new that is reminiscent of the style of a specific artist, investigators must rely on other methods.


Sometimes thorough investigation is enough. Sculpture may have been created with modern methods and tools and diluted in chemicals to "age" it. Some forgers have tried to imitate worm marks by drilling.


Art experts try to find out whether the work came out of nowhere and study catalogues of previous auctions to find out whether it has been for sale elsewhere. If the item has no paper trail, it is probably a forgery. Some forgers therefore try to produce proof. British art dealer John Drewe created false documents of provenance and even inserted pictures of forgeries into the archives of prominent art institutions. John Drewe (b 1948) is a British purveyor of art forgeries who commissioned impoverished artist John Myatt to paint them. ...


Investigators may try to use carbon dating to find out the real age of the item but this is useful mainly in very old items. They may analyze used pigments to find out if the used paints are too modern. They can use infrared analysis or x-ray fluorescence to find whether a painting had been painted on old canvas or over some other painting (not a surefire method since genuine artist may have also reused old canvases if they could not afford new ones). X-ray fluorescence can also reveal if metals in metal sculpture or even in the pigments are too pure. Sometimes they may be able to check the artist's fingerprints left in the paint. Radiocarbon dating is the use of the naturally occurring isotope of carbon-14 in radiometric dating to determine the age of organic materials, up to ca. ... In biology, pigment is any material resulting in color in plant or animal cells which is the result of selective absorption. ... X-ray fluorescence (XRF) is the phenomenon where a material is exposed to X-rays of relatively high energy, and as the X-ray (or photon) strikes an atom (or a molecule) in the sample, energy is absorbed by the atom. ... Canvas is an extremely heavy-duty fabric used for making sails, tents, marquees, and other functions where sturdiness is required. ...


Some forgers are able to answer to that as well. Han van Meegeren used historical methods to create pigments for his paintings of Vermeer. Han van Meegeren, byname of Henricus Antonius van Meegeren (Deventer, October 10, 1889 - Valeriuskliniek Amsterdam, December 30, 1947), was a Dutch painter and master art forger. ...


If the forger had been meticulous, there is still the analysis of style of how the original artist has created his art - characteristic brushwork and perspective, preferred themes and techniques. Some forgers study these as well in order to imitate them.


Statistical analysis of digital images of paintings is another method that is beginning to be used to detect forgeries. Using a technique called wavelet decomposition, a picture is broken down into a collection of more basic images called subbands. These subbands are analyzed to determine textures, assigning a frequency to each subband. The broad strokes of a surface such as a blue sky would show up as mostly low frequency subbands whereas the fine strokes in blades of grass would produce high frequency subbands. An example of statistics used in educational assessment. ... A digital image is a representation of a two-dimensional image as a finite set of digital values, called picture elements or pixels. ... In mathematics, wavelets, wavelet analysis, and the wavelet transform refers to the representation of a signal in terms of a finite length or fast decaying oscillating waveform (known as the mother wavelet). ... Sine waves of various frequencies; the lower waves have higher frequencies than those above. ...


The wavelet decomposition method was tested using a group of thirteen drawings attributed to Pieter Brueghel the Elder. Five of the drawings are known to be imitations. The analysis was able to correctly identify the five that were imitations. The method was also used on the painting Virgin and Child with Saints. This painting was created in the studios of Pietro Perugino. Historians have had the opinion that Perugino only painted a portion of the work. The wavelet decomposition method identified that four different artists had worked on the painting. Bruegels The Painter and The Connoisseur drawn c. ... Self-portrait, 1497-1500. ...


Another feature of genuine paintings sometimes used to detect forgery is craquelure. In art, craquelure is the fine pattern of cracks formed on old paintings. ...


Problems in verification

The fact that experts do not always agree on the authenticity of a particular item makes the matter of provenance more complex. Some of the artists have also sometimes accepted the copies of their work - Picasso is attributed to saying that he would sign a very good forgery. Jean Corot painted 700 works but also signed copies made by others in his name. Provenance is the origin or source from which anything comes. ... A young Pablo Picasso Pablo Picasso, formally Pablo Ruiz Picasso, (October 25, 1881 - April 8, 1973) was one of the recognized masters of 20th century art. ... Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot (portrait by Nadar) Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot (July 26, 1796 – February 22, 1875) was a French landscape painter. ...


Sometimes art restoration is so extensive that the original is practically replaced when new materials are used to supplement older ones. Art restorer may also remove or add details to a genuine painting, trying to make the painting more saleable in the contemporary art market environment. This is not a modern phenomenon - historical painters who got hold of other artist's work might have "retouched" it to their liking by repainting background and details. Art restoration involves the clean, repairing of, or reconstruction of art work. ...


Currently there have been claims that art dealers and auction houses have been too eager to accept the forgeries as genuine so they could be sold quicker for profit. If the dealer finds out the work is a forgery, they may quietly withdraw it and return it to its previous owner - which gives a forger an opportunity to try to sell it elsewhere. Some of the potential buyers may not even care about the provenance of the item as long as it can pass for the real one in their social circles.


Some experts and institution may also be reluctant to admit their own fallibility. Estimates about the amount of forgeries in the art institute collections range from insignificant to Thomas Hoving's 60%.


It also sometimes happens that the work that has been declared a forgery is later accepted as genuine; Vermeer's Young Woman Seated at the Virginals had been treated as a forgery from 1947 but was declared genuine at March 2004.


Famous forgeries

Three Etruscan terracotta warriors are art forgeries, statues made to resemble work of ancient Etruscans. ... Michelangelos Cupid was a famous forgery by Michelangelo, that, unfortunately, has been lost. ...

Known art forgers and dealers of forged art

By region Italian Renaissance Spanish Renaissance Northern Renaissance French Renaissance German Renaissance English Renaissance The Renaissance, also known as Il Rinascimento (in Italian), was an influential cultural movement which brought about a period of scientific revolution, religious reform and artistic transformation, at the dawn of modern European history. ... William Blundell (b. ... The Mona Lisa , is an oil painting on poplar wood by Leonardo da Vinci and is perhaps the most famous painting in art history; few other works of art are as romanticized, celebrated, or reproduced. ... Chang Dai-chien (张大千, 張大千 1899-1983) was one of the best-known Chinese artists of the twentieth century. ... Alceo Dossena (1878-1937) was an Italian sculptor. ... John Drewe (b 1948) is a British purveyor of art forgeries who commissioned impoverished artist John Myatt to paint them. ... John Myatt (born 1945) is a British painter who painted forgeries for art dealer John Drewe. ... Guy Hain (?-) is a French art forger who produced number of fake bronze sculptures. ... Rodins The Burghers of Calais in Calais, France. ... Eric Hebborn (1934-1996) was a British painter and art forger. ... Elmyr De Hory (1906-1976) was a famous Hungarian-born painter and art forger whose forgeries have become popular in their own right. ... Tom Keating (1918 - February 12, 1984) was an art restorer and famous art forger who claimed to have forged over 2,000 paintings by over 100 different artists. ... Fernand Legros (20th century) was an art dealer who, together with his lover Real Lessard, sold forgeries of Elmyr de Hory. ... John Myatt (born 1945) is a British painter who painted forgeries for art dealer John Drewe. ... Claude-Emile Schuffenecker (? - ?) Was a French art forger who specialized in Gauguin and Van Gogh and was their contemporary. ... Otto Wacker (?-?) was a German art dealer who became famous for commissioning and selling forgeries of paintings of Vincent Van Gogh. ... Han van Meegeren, byname of Henricus Antonius van Meegeren (Deventer, October 10, 1889 - Valeriuskliniek Amsterdam, December 30, 1947), was a Dutch painter and master art forger. ... Milkmaid (1658-1660) Johannes Vermeer (October 31, 1632 - buried on December 15, 1675) was a Dutch painter, who lived and worked in Delft. ... Ely Sakhai (born 1952) is a US art dealer and suspected purveyor of forged art. ... Jean-Pierre Schecroun (b ? - ?) was a French painter and art forger who made forgeries of work of modern masters, including Picasso. ... David Stein (? - ?) was a French-born painter who become an art forger. ... Otto Wacker (?-?) was a German art dealer who became famous for commissioning and selling forgeries of paintings of Vincent Van Gogh. ... Vincent Willem van Gogh (March 30, 1853 – July 29, 1890) was a Dutch painter, generally considered one of the greatest painters in European art history. ...

See also

Forgery is the process of making or adapting objects or documents (see false document), with the intention to deceive. ... Archaeological forgery is a manufacture of supposedly ancient items that are sold to the antiquities market and may even end up in the collections of museums. ...

References

[[{{{Authorlink}}}|Erica Klarreich]], {{{Coauthors}}} ({{{Date}}}) ({{{Month}}} 2004). [{{{URL}}} Con artists. Scanning program can discern true art]. Science News 166 (22): 340. {{{ID}}}.


External link

  • A History of Art Forgery
  • Museum Security Network

Books

Judging the Authenticity of Prints by The Masters: A Primer for Collectors, by David Rudd Cycleback


  Results from FactBites:
 
Art forgery - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1553 words)
Art forgery means creating and especially selling works of art that are falsely attributed to be work of other, usually more famous artists.
Art forgery is extremely lucrative, but modern dating and analysis techniques make the identification of a piece of art much simpler.
Although many art forgers are in he business solely for money, some have claimed that they have created forgeries to expose the credulity and snobbishness of the art world, essentially claiming that they have performed only hoaxes of exposure.
Forgery - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (517 words)
Forgery is one of the techniques of fraud, including identity theft.
Forgery is one of the threats that have to be addressed by security engineering.
Where the prime concern of a forgery is less focused on the object itself— what it is worth or what it "proves"— than on a tacit statement of criticism that is revealed by the reactions the object provokes in others, then the larger process is a hoax.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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