Originals, copies, fakes

XI Scientific Symposium «Expertise and attribution of paintings and applied art works» took place at the Engineers pavilion of the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow on November 16–18. The important conference was organized by an antiques trading company «Magnum Ars». Leading researchers, experts and art critics from Russia, Ukraine and Baltic region countries participated in the event. Traditionally, subject reports from the conference were published in a special digest.

As it is seen from its name, the symposium was dedicated to problems of art expertise, attribution and revelation of fakes and imitations at the vast Russian antiques market. Speakers introduced a number of interesting and important reports. For instance, a research associate from the Saratov Art Museum L. Krasnoperova told about an original exhibition that had taken place at the Saratov museum in 2002. The showcase featured authentic paintings by renowned artists, copies from their works and fakes displayed near each other. Visitors to the exhibition had an opportunity to learn more about artistic expertise and the process of evaluation and identification of art works. Krasnoperova also admitted that nearly half of museum works by Dutch painters of XVII century are most likely perfect imitations, as in XVIII–XIX centuries it was in usual practice to copy and imitate European masterpieces.

A report by Alexander Vetlitsky was titled «Presumption of guilt». According to Vetlitsky, about 50 per cent (with permissible 10–15%) of XV–XVIII Russian icons on the national antiquarian market are fakes. «Mastership» and experience of modern fakers has increased greatly. As they are aware of characteristic features and nuances of major icon-painting schools, the quality of fakes is often irreproachable. «Splendidly» forged icons have been discovered even in the famous collection of Pavel Korin. Experts should keep their eyes open!

Participants of the conference waited edgily for the report by Vladimir Petrov, the State Tretyakov Gallery research associate. Petrov is considered to be the major expert in Russian painting of XIX century. The expert presented a vast illustrative material for his lecture, which was dedicated to mass faking of Russian XIX century paintings. The problem is very serious, as nowadays fakers repaint originals by foreign artists, transforming them into works by renowned Russian masters. Cheats acquire European paintings at minor auction for quite modest prices, then turn these works into sought-after Russian paintings, and sell to the national collectors for big money. Petrov acknowledged that fakes were made by brilliantly educated professionals. First, unfair art historians select a proper foreign painting, which resembles the needed Russian one; then restorers add or remove certain details, imitate author’s style and inscription, age paint and canvas – and a work is ready to sell. Petrov demonstrated more than forty new «masterpieces», but allegedly their number totals over two hundred fakes.

Nadezhda Nazarevskaya

Published in: on November 25, 2005 at 1:47 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://antiques20.wordpress.com/2005/11/25/originals-copies-fakes/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: