the man his art On the experts Fakes & Forgeries On the market
from Born to Venice Drawings Past experts Myth and reality on his fakes The market
Arrival to Paris Sculpture Catalogues done in the past Famous forgers trust in the market?
Becoming an artist Painting Actual /Living experts known and undoubted fakes Auctions & Modigliani
on the path All the attributed works Catalogues of actual experts how to detect a fake Galleries & Museums
The artist Exhibitions during his lifetime How should an expertise must be done what to do with forgeries and forgers Famous collectors fromt the past to actual times
The myth Exhibitions until today News on the experts Art Historians, a trustable source? News on the market
Selected bibliography on him News on his art References  and Bibliography on the experts references on fakes & forgeries references & links on the market

“If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content
to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties.”


― Francis Bacon


BEAR IN MIND this is the area where the money comes from, some experts explain clearly how much they charge for the services and some others keep it to themselves. 

(It usually becomes intricate, hidden, GLOOMY and mysterious because the experts try to hide the results).

If you hear something like "The signature is quite rare", start to shake
, you have in front of you an idiot.

Extract from: "The Expert versus the Object. Judging fakes and false attributions in the Visual arts"
Ronald D. Spencer.Oxford University press, 2004. LINK

Page 139, Museums & Authenticity issues:

RDS: on the signatures in paintings, is it not easier to forge a signature, than to forge a style or method of work?

SS II: no doubt

RDS: So, Why does the art world invest so much time thinking and talking about the signatures on the paintings as a proof of authenticity?

SS II: I think they do it as an improductive method....... actually a signature is not the determining factor. We also know that Modigliani agreed to sign works by his friends so they could sell. We are therefore faced with a fake with a real signature. The signature has a relative value.


Ronald D. Spencer, Expert in law & Arts
SS II: President of the Pollock-Krasner foundation, former director of the Frick Collection, Detroit Institute of Arts, Minneapolis Institute of Arts.




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The same as everything else in science you just have to follow the instructions (like an Ikea chair)...

All that's needed is:

1.- Chemical analysis of the pigments: €250 ($320 USD) x each pigment
(a normal one should at least have 4 pigments, and an extensive one can cover the complete range)

2.- Infrared images: a caption can be in a range from 100 to 200 euros (130 to 260 USD)

3.- X ray: more or less 150 to 200 € (170 to 260 USD)

4.- Historiography study: from 0 to 4 figures.
(this should cover any publication, sales, provenance and everything on the work, and can be done by anyone with a little knowledge, time & resources)


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With all the results you must face the next step:

- Compare the results of 1- 2 - 3 to undoubted works.
this should be very easy for museums & art world staff, but to a private person it can be as closed as Kafka's door (National museums or public institutions do not usually give expert opinions to private individuals unless you are really lucky or have a close connection to an expert on the subject.  In the case of Modigliani this is even worse because they all try to look after their own interests and do not want to get involved in a fight with another expert, and the Modigliani ones are really like the must belligerent and evil Bad Jedi...)

- Only public museums or institutions have a data base of already undoubted works (without this you have nothing).
- This is an unfair trick, if you want to compare works the only access is to knock on their door and then you are going to discover how charming or cruel the "professor" can be....

- Even if your are lucky to find the correct person, then you have to give public light to your discovery.
This can also be as difficult as the rest, OK you got the work done and the comparison gives you a 100% match with other undoubted work and then try to give light to the discovery, It only requires a word by another expert-curator or by a simple "friend with a little power" and all your work will be awarded zero value (and believe me I tell you this from the experience of it....)


- So all this implies you have to go through their rules:

1.- The cost of the expert himself... (pray for your soul)
Bear in mind they are not going to accept your previous analysis results so you will have to do new ones with the labs used by them (they remain in the most obscure secret, nobody will tell you the name of the labs used by the main experts).

Parisot or Restellini use only their own experts (as they say..., the real thing is only known by them) and they never give a really public statement that can be used to contrast results...
2.- Costs of publication: €800 to €3000 (1200 to 4800 USD)
The little trip to Paris and the insurance is not included.
3.- Cost of exhibition : from 0 to your house value
Only some of them ask for it, but if you are asked: start to pray.

Here you can take a look at the stuff they give you in exchange for your money; but please bear in mind that nobody trusts that classical European (specially French) behaviour of giving certificates. VIEW SOME EXAMPLES



So what to do: NOTHING

Give it a little time and sooner or later science will be the main source instead of Art Historians.
Money needs to be safe and since the art historians (expert opinion givers) act like silly kids in a playground (sorry, kids aren't really like that) sooner or later the two majors (Sotheby's & Christies's) will have to accept the change.
Do all the work you can do and then give it patience and wait as the Chinese phrase goes.

SOONER OR LATER IT WILL HAVE TO HAPPEN.
Until then, keep Granny's Modigliani far from direct light and heating...

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