Authenticity of a Painting

“It is the triumph of the individual over art – the zenith of an original voice”.

Miles Patrick Yohnke

Authenticity in art is the different ways in which a work of art or an artistic performance may be considered authentic: the correct identification of the author of a work of art or to how closely a work of art conforms to an artistic tradition, and to how much the work possesses authority, how much validity of expression, and dynamism the artist puts into the work.

Identification: Identification of the work of art is crucial in the initial stages of valuation through identification of medium, style and consideration into whether it conforms to an artistic custom.  A certificate of authenticity – usually a seal authenticating a specific art work – provides validation to both the buyer and seller – and includes the artist’s signature and date. A certificate of provenance helps to identify the origin of a painting.

Research: Study into recent market results and previous works by the artist is an important step into authenticating a piece.  It is vital to look closely at the signature and any markings on canvas that may be recurrent in the artist’s work – does the artist sign his work differently?

Evidence: A certificate of authentication identifies and validates a piece, but liaising with experts on the field who may look for similarities in the style of painting, check the location and form of a signature, or compare the object to an old photograph, assists verification. It is fundamental to consider the conservational and technical elements of a piece in the process of authentication.

Biddle & Webb: We take the issue of authenticity very seriously, protecting as wherever we can the interests of our buyers and sellers. Like other colleagues I studied Art History to Masters Level at the cities’ Barber Institute, and am now further learning from the expertise that can only be gained from working with experienced professionals at one of the area’s leading auctioneers and valuers.

“Practically all great artists accept the influence of others. But… the artist with vision… by integrating what he has learned with his own experiences… molds something distinctly personal”.

Romare Bearden

By Megan

Leave a Reply