Beware Of The Fakes When You Buy Paintings Online!

Fake art has rocked the foundation of the art world since the early 1800s. There have been astounding number of incidents that have unearthed the dark side of the art world. According to surveys and researches, you may get duped half of the time when you are trying to buy paintings online. Unfortunately, even great auction houses like Sotheby’s and temples of art in France are not immune to house fake art. 

Art has been haunted by imitations since time immemorial. It is a widely known fact that one of the gifted renaissance painter and artist, Michelangelo, used to make money for a living by conning people to buy copies of ancient Roman sculptures. 

Here are some tips that would help you in differentiating between a copy and original art:-

Identifying the common features of the art 

The object would provide the first evidence that would make it look like an original. One must go through minute details mentioned across the length and breadth of the artwork. Look out for signatures of the artists. Some of them mention them at the front while others prefer to do them in the back of the canvas accompanied by the date and year of the creation. In case of the deadlock, for example the signatures are not legible, consult an expert to identify the true identity of the signatory. 

The work of every artist has a feature that is common to all the artworks made by that particular artist. Alert yourself to look out for those common holograms, marks, signatures, base, monograms, stamps, frame,  carvings, inscriptions, material used for making canvas, foundry marks of casting in case of metals sculptures, etc. 

If the artwork was produced commercially, the stretchers would indicate the age of the painting. Any metals sculptures would be accompanied by a date on which the copyright for that art was acquired, the number of the lot or edition, and the address of the foundry. If the piece is antique, it would be accompanied by the tags form the galleries in which it was exhibited, auction houses where it was housed, and stamps from the previous owners. 

Try to find out about the descriptions and research papers when you are to buy paintings online. Compare the details and marks mentioned in those archived references, research papers. Marks may wither due to natural wear and tear. Consider this as a plausible explanation if some of the marks have faded or vanished. 

The archives and researches would definitely have the information regarding the material used by the artist in his creation. There would be an exhaustive explanation of techniques incorporated. If the artwork in question is a painting, there is a possibility that it is made in oil, acrylic, watercolors, tempera, on canvas, paper, wood, cloth, or any other material. 

There are many options to peruse if the artwork in question is a print:-

Engraving

Etching

Woodcut

Aquatint

Serigraph

Silkscreen

Lithograph

If the subject matter in question is a sculpture, is it made of stone, wood, metal, clay, ivory, plaster, or with a mixture of two or more mediums? The weight of the artwork could be a decisive factor in a case when the original was a hollow one and the one you are planning to have is not. 

Peruse the body of the work with a magnifying glass to eliminate the possibility of missing a small but important sign or mark. Try to do that in natural light. The oil color of an ancient painting may have caked and flaked. Therefore, you need to immediately consult an experienced curator to establish the originality of the work. 

The base of the painting also tells a great deal about the work. Find out about the material on which the painting or collage is made. It may be hybrid i.e. some of the artworks of Picasso are a mixture of sculpture making and painting. Usually, they are made on the following kinds of materials:-Canvas

Paper

Panel

Linen

Paper on canvas

Board

Make a timeline of the history of the painting to have a picture of its provenance and an idea as to how many hands does the artwork has changed over the course of time. Don’t get persuaded by the stories made by art dealers about the previous owner of the work. Collect them and cross-check them with an alternative source and only proceed further when you have satisfied your logical mind. Beware of purchasing a painting if it has not been preserved in the right manner. An antique would do you no good if it loses its shine after some time. Sometimes, an artwork is original but it is stolen. Beware of that. 

In the world full of conceit, an art collector have to make a lot of effort to have an original masterwork. Follow these steps and none will be the wiser!

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