Artist dating a scientist
There are different approaches for determining the authenticity of antique paintings: - verifying authenticity through a purely stylistic evaluation - verifying the authenticity of a painting by means of objective tests of the ageing of the material - verifying the authenticity of a painting with the use of scientific instrumental methods.
The combined results of the stylistic, material and scientific investigations will permit the establishing of the compatibility of the painting with presumed elements or its inauthenticity.
3) with Woods Light and microscope for the examination of restored areas 4) with IR-Reflectography for the examination of the deepest painting layers 5) with microscope, Woods Light and reflectography in order to verify the material uniformity and the ageing of the signature 6) with IR-Spectroscopy for establishing the pigments used and examining the drying of the paint binder attempt to determine the authenticity of a painting must begin with tests and analyses to establish whether the age of the painting and the materials and techniques used are compatible with the presumed date of execution.
The Museum laboratorys mission is to improve existing scientific methods and elaborate new methods for the ascertainment of the authenticity of art objects.
All the above features are typical of an authentic craquelure which has formed naturally and begin to be noticeable about The microscopic examination of the signature (macro photos no.7, and no.8) evidenced its uniformity with the rest of the painting: it can be seen, in fact, that the colour has worn to the same degree, especially in the more protruding areas, and has not penetrated into the fissures of the craquelure as would have been the case if the signature had been inscribed onto a painted surface that was already old.
Examination under Woods light also showed that the reactions of the signature were comparable to those of the rest of the painting (photo no.9 taken under Woods light).
As a consequence a section of the trade rejects scientific methods out of economic necessity.
Whilst this type of ascertainment is to the dealers advantage, for buyers it could mean the almost total loss of their investment if one day this overemphasis on the signature were considered illogical and mistaken and a more traditional way of attributing art returned to the various component materials of the painting and its support.
Any incompatibility between the measured ages and information on the presumed author reveals to the owner, before he seeks an expert opinion, that he has acquired one of the myriad recent copies in circulation.
Having thus ascertained that at least the two side strips of the stretcher are unquestionably original and coeval with this painting, we proceeded to date them scientifically.
The spectroscopic analysis of the wood gave the following results: Many areas of the painting evidence a deep, extensive craquelure.