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The definition of authenticity
'What is really the author to whom it is attributed'

The elements making up a certificate of authenticity:

The unique certificate of authenticity issued by the expert, most often handwritten, must include on the back of the photograph of the work of art its full and precise description:

Every word is important:

Mandatory information:
- The artist's name
- The title of the work
- With or without signature
- The technique used and the medium (ex: oil on canvas, gouache on cardboard, paper mounted on panel, etc.)
- Dimensions (height and length)
- The name, contact details and signature of the expert
- The date and place of the certificate

Non-mandatory information:
(which may also appear in an exhibition or sales catalog)

- The dating and location of the work
- The history, the provenance of the painting
- References in the catalog raisonné, in art books, exhibitions
- The state of conservation (eg: restorations, relining, etc.)

The definitions used by the expert on the certificate:
de la main de ..., work of ..., bears the signature of ... followed by the artist's name, guarantees that the painting is by the artist cited, the expert fully agrees on the authenticity of the painting.

attributed to ... followed by the artist's name, guarantees that serious presumptions designate him as the true author of the painting, without further certainty.

workshop ... followed by the artist's name, ensures that the painting was made by a student in the Master's workshop and that the latter may even have helped with the painting.

entourage of ..., school of ... followed by the artist's name, guarantees that the painting was executed by an artist referring to the Master within a period not exceeding 50 years after the latter's death.

in the style of ..., in the manner of ..., in the genre of ..., in the style of ..., according to ... followed by the artist's name, does not provide any guarantee regarding the artist and his period.

Terms used by the expert:
To avoid all the legal risks involved in an expertise, the words most often used are:

I certify that ..., the expert brings his commitment to the authenticity of the work.

I consider that ..., I think that ..., in the current state of my knowledge ..., with all reservations ..., the expert does not bring any certainty, but serious presumptions about the authenticity of the work.

The signed mention of ... does not necessarily imply that the signature is by the painter's hand.

The expert must submit his certificate when he has examined the work visually and not in view of a photograph.

A certificate indicates whether or not the painting will be included in the artist's catalog raisonné. It does not guarantee the authenticity of the work.

The sales slip, equivalent to an invoice, provided by the auctioneer is not a certificate of expertise. It includes the description of the object, the amount of the auction, the details of the costs.

In the case of contradictory expertises, a college of experts can be appointed.

The erroneous attribution is a semantic error, one atrributes to a master a work of one of his pupils or of his relatives, or vice versa. Even in museums, the paintings sometimes change authors.

The price of expertise
Expert fees are free calculated according to the work to be performed. You can add travel or specific research costs. Verbal advice or advice is free.

Written expertise pays off.