forgery is most common in famous pieces that offer high prices, but
is also common in some of the less famous pieces, as not many people
know what the piece looks like, making the selling of a forged piece
easy. Analysis of a painting is the most accurate method of uncovering
an art forgery, as an art piece can be tested to see how old it is.
Choose one of the following to read more:
| In a laboratory, oil
paintings can easily be tested using the simplest methods of examination.
Microscopes allow scientists to see how old a painting really is.
Forgers create old, cracked looking surfaces by rolling the canvas,
heating and cooling it rapidly and applying a constricting varnish
using a stippling
brush to give it a fly-blown look. X-rays
can also reveal whether the cracks appear under the surface and on
every layer of the painting. In forged paintings, it is quite often
found that the forger has only created a cracked appearance on the
top layer and therefore, it does not match the bottom layer.
|Depending on the paint
composition and the age of the painting, ultraviolet
light shows fluorescent
blue-green if the varnish is from the 19th century. Infrared
light can also reveal whether it is paint or ink used in the painting.
If these tests reveal nothing out of the ordinary, scientists take
a paint sample from the edge of the painting or a damaged area, placing
it in cold-setting polymer
and are thereafter able to identify its pigment
underneath a microscope.
Because oil paintings began in the 15th century,
certain colours did not exist at that time, for example, Prussian
blue was only created in 1704. A painting that contains the Prussian
blue colour, therefore, cannot be anymore than three centuries old.
on which an oil painting was painted
provides an inaccurate guide to age. The weave composition of the
material may however, provide a clue, but a forger may have used
an old, cleaned off canvas from another artist. Canvas frames, on
the other hand can be dated using the tree ring measurement technique,
which can tell how long ago exactly the wood was cut.
| Fraud metals and
ceramics are difficult to spot and require some highly advanced
equipment and techniques. Ceramics are hard to copy, as identical
clay to the original is required in order to make them look
even close to the real thing. Stone statues are almost always
an original, as it requires too much time and labour for a forger
to consider. Cast metals, on the other hand, are much easier
to forge, but only a small handful acquires suspicion.
Ceramic is dated using a method called thermo
luminescence, which unfortunately (to the annoyance
of the purchaser) requires the removal of approximately 30
grams of clay for the process to work. The process works by
measuring the natural
radiation that is absorbed by the clay from the moment
the piece was placed in a kiln and fired. Metal objects are
dated using a different method. X-ray fluorescent analysis
involves an art piece emitting an x-ray characteristic of
the metal it was made of. This metal characteristic is compared
with the x-ray of a genuine artifact that is from the same