Jehane Ragai

The Scientist and the Forger

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Over the last few decades there has been a disconcerting increase in the number of forged paintings. In retaliation, there has been a rise in the use, efficiency and ability of scientific techniques to detect these forgeries. The scientist has waged war on the forger.
The Scientist and the Forger describes the cutting-edge and traditional weapons in this battle, showing how they have been applied to the most notorious cases. The book also provides fresh insights into the psychology of both the viewer and the forger, shedding light on why the discovery that a work of art is a forgery makes us view it so differently and providing a gripping analysis of the myriad motivations behind the most egregious incursions into deception.
The book concludes by discussing the pressing problems faced by the art world today, stressing the importance of using appropriate tools for a valid verdict on authenticity. Written in an approachable and amenable style, the book will make fascinating reading for non-specialists, art historians, curators and scientists alike.
Contents:Establishing the First Link in the Art Chain:Attribution:The Connoisseur and the Art HistorianThe Ely Zakhai Case and a Gauguin ForgeryMicroscopy Related Techniques:The Van Meegeren ForgeryFrancisco Francia's 'The Virgin and Child with an Angel' a ForgeryAuthentication of a Manet PaintingRussian Avant Garde Forgeries, the Kandisky and Popova Forgery CasesThe Unexpected Dramatic Case of the Chagall ForgeryScientific Techniques Reliant on Mass Spectrometry:The Trotter AffairThe Jackson Pollock AffairAuthentication of Vermeer's 'Saint Praxedis'The Fernand Leger ForgeryLeonardo's 'La Bella Principessa'Some X-ray Based Techniques:Authentication of a Hitherto Unknown Van Gogh Floral Still LifeInfrared Reflectography:Authentication of Leonardo's Salvator MundiDigital Techniques for Art Authentication:Authentication of Vincent Van Gogh's 'Sunset at MontmajourStudy of the Panel and the Frame: Dendochhronolgy:The Beltracchi ForgeriesThe Beguiling “Odalisque”:Is the Courtroom the Proper Venue for Authentication?Three Portraits, Two Women: Can Science Decide?Psychology of the ViewerPsychology of the ForgerReflections on the Turbulent World of Art AuthenticationReadership: General reader, curator, connoisseur, art-historian, psychologist, scientist and financier. Key Features:There is no existing publication to date that brings together the material presented in this book and which responds to heightened interest in and demand for information on forgery-related subjects as reflected in ever-expanding media coverageThis book will appeal to a broad readership: general reader, curator, connoisseur, art-historian, psychologist and the scientist in view of the interdisciplinary nature of the work. It might also be of interest to the financier as large sums of money are involved in the purchase of paintings by famous mastersThis book covers a wide spectrum of interrelated subjects: the current state of forgery in painting touching upon some of the most singular cases, the potential and limits of new research methodologies, psychological parameters related to forgery as well as to viewership and finally the current efforts in redressing a situation of greed and fraud in the art market. Adding novelty, is the very contemporary character and diversity of the cases presented (from European to Middle Eastern artworks)
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351 printed pages
Original publication
2015

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