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Author Topic: The Perfect Art Forgery
jianadaren
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posted 15 March 2005 12:24 AM      Profile for jianadaren     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Calling all artists, art history majors, forensic chemists, etc. I saw a very interesting show last night entitled Incognito. An artist produces a perfect forgery of a never-before-seen (but believed to exist)Remembrandt. So riddle me this. Even if one was a highly talent artist and had access to the paints, brushes, and canvasses of the day (by this I mean paints, etc. that were as old as Rembrandt himself), could she or he produce the perfect forgery? Probably, a stupid question, but anyway ...

In the end, he fools everyone.


From: China | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Papal Bull
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posted 15 March 2005 12:28 AM      Profile for Papal Bull   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes, yes they can.

It is quite easy to make "fake grime" to plaster overtop of a Baraoque-styled painting to make it look authentic.


From: Vatican's best darned ranch | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
windymustang
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posted 15 March 2005 12:33 AM      Profile for windymustang     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There are no stupid questions, jianadarin. Welcome to the site, since I haven't seen you post before.

I agree with Papal_Bull in that it would look authentic, but I believe that even with all the originally used materials, perfect execution of the work, etc., the forgery could be spotted by an expert. I think that they would have to test the varnish, not sure here, but although it can be made to look old, there are tests that can tell if it's been recently applied or if it is actually aged.

This is all from distant recollection, so don't take my word for it.


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Doug
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posted 15 March 2005 12:45 AM      Profile for Doug   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Centuries-old paint (if there was any to be found) wouldn't be in a useable condition, I don't think.

There have been some very very good forgeries, but no known perfect ones - because if they were perfect, we wouldn't know about them, would we?

A History of Art Forgery

Forensic techniques for detecting art forgeries


From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Amy
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posted 15 March 2005 02:00 AM      Profile for Amy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, even some of my paints from a couple years ago are either separated into a solid and a liquid, or they're completely dried out. I don't imagine that much paint would be stored in such a way that would preserve it well enough for it to be used (as paint anyway), even if it is possible that it can last that long.

I can only imagine that many people have as-yet undiscovered forgeries in their collections now, as some of the dating techniques require machines that are pretty hard to come by and so, expensive to hire.


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angrymonkey
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posted 15 March 2005 06:32 AM      Profile for angrymonkey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I wish I could remember some book titles about painting forgeries at the moment. All I can think of is the fictional What's Bred in the bone by Robertson Davies.
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catje
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posted 16 March 2005 01:47 AM      Profile for catje     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
They would have to find or recreate the appropriate paint, varnish, canvas, stretchers and nails. If someone wanted to spend the $1000 on radiocarbon dating the canvas fibres, that would probably blow it out of the water. It would also be a lot of work to crack the paint properly so that it looked aged. People do make amazing forgeries, although PF Hoving, a former director of the Met, once remarked that no forgery lasts beyond a generation. Every work of art is essentially of it's time, even the ones that are trying hard to be of something else's.
From: lotusland | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
maestro
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posted 16 March 2005 06:55 AM      Profile for maestro     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I wish I could remember some book titles about painting forgeries at the moment. All I can think of is the fictional What's Bred in the bone by Robertson Davies.

One of his best in my opinion.

Wasn't there just a case of massive art forgery a while back?

Ah, this may be it:

quote:
A Recent Case


The mastermind behind Britain's most recent case of art forgery is John Drewe (b. 1948). Over a period of about 10 years, from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, Drewe arranged phony documentation for paintings by a number of world famous artists, including Marc Chagall, Alberto Giacometti, and Ben Nicholson.

In reality these works had been been painted by Drewe's accomplice, John Myatt (b.1945), who eventually testified against Drewe. In Feb. 1999 Drewe was sentenced to 6 years in jail; Myatt was sentenced to 1 year. Investigators say they have recovered 60 of the fakes, but another 140 remain at large.


Wow! 200 forgeries of which most are stil out there. Maybe it still is possible to fool the experts.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
angrymonkey
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posted 17 March 2005 04:24 AM      Profile for angrymonkey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well it is useful to fool people that want to be fooled. The James Ossuary pops to mind.

here


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