Authentication of Paintings

Atelier Frank carries out research and expert examinations in order to determine the authenticity of artworks. Following an initial assessment in the form of a consultation at the studio, the painting is subjected to a thorough analysis by a conservator and pigments are analysed in a laboratory in order to determine their type, age and characteristics. The observations are then cross-checked with art historical information available on the era. Our expertise result from this multi-disciplinary approach which eliminates the short – comings of each individual discipline.

Our studio’s main focus is on the work by Czech artists or those whose work can be found in local collections as this allows us to cross-reference them with paintings of Czech provenance with other pieces already attributed to the individual artists. However, our knowledge of artists’ techniques and use of technical examination enables us to some extent examine paintings of international origin.

The result of our survey is based on technical examinations following the methodology of conservation research (UV luminescence, IR reflectography, standard X-radiography) as well as on the trustworthy and reliable methods of laboratory analyses of paint sample stratigraphy and the SEM-EDX analysis or Raman spectroscopy for pigment identification. However, our reports’ conclusions also rely on our knowledge of the specific stylistic features in the work of an artists, such as their brushwork and use of material, with which we have become intimately acquainted throughout more than 30 years of conservation experience.

It is our belief that a combination of both experience and observation, rather than a single analytical method, are needed in order to authenticate an artwork. Every artwork has its unique story and context, which we do our best to uncover.