Pictorial work

Painting, oil on canvas, painting on canvas, oil painting, printmaking, mural painting, drawing …

Expert reports on works of art: the dilemma of confidentiality or disclosure

The expert, between a rock and a hard place Expert reports on works of art are often carried out on personal property for the purposes of inheritances, insurance or in relation to fortunes. If private, they are clearly confidential. In civil proceedings, the court expert is bound by proceedings confidentiality, which is even more restrictive in criminal proceedings. Describing these various contexts, Gilles Perrault discusses the delicate position the expert finds himself in, subject to the contradictions and powerlessness imposed by such confidentiality. Article in the Revue Experts n°112, February 2014 […]

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Chi Mei Culture Foundation, from passion to museum

The largest museum in Asia dedicated to western art is being built in Tainan (in the southern part of the island of Taiwan, the Republic of China). It is to be inaugurated in February 2015 following a colossal, five-year, construction process. Having participated in its creation, not only as a restorer but also as consultant for the painting and sculpture collections, I consider this museum to be well worth a visit. Twenty years of collaboration provides me with an opportunity to go back over the history of the creation of […]

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The examination of works of art using electromagnetic rays

A work of art is assessed, judged and commented on by a person viewing the object, itself dependant on the presence and intensity of light that is comprised of electromagnetic rays. To see what is not visible, like some of the colours in a rainbow, experts apply scientific methods to works of art that enable them to understand the past (preparatory drawings or retouches under the painted layer…) and the present (xylophage insects, the causes of current damage…), methods that include ultraviolet light, UV and IR cameras, x-rays, tomographic cross-sections, […]

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The methods of scientific analysis used to assist expert reports on works of art and counterfeit

With the scientific analysis of works of art becoming more and more sought after, the author, after briefly referring to various specialized laboratories, explains how to find the most competent laboratory best able to analyse a work of art and raises the issue of the reliability of the analyses produced. He then sets out a brief history of scientific examinations and studies the various techniques used, which he summarizes in table form: examinations and analyses of surfaces, examinations and analyses of internal structures, dating methods. He ends his liberally illustrated […]

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The detection of fakes in easel paintings

Fakes are becoming increasingly frequent towards the end of this century. The author has found 80% over all areas of art, a percentage that should be “decreased to reflect the national market which, depending on the sector, is approximately 50% because objects that are not contested by experts are not the subject of examination”. To illustrate this introduction, the authors present, by way of example, the detection of a fake Rembrandt, having successively studied the aspect, the frame, cracks, the signature and retouchings. They then examine copying and the science […]

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