The importance of the study of Works of Art
The study and cataloguing of the Works of Art is synonymous of valuation, qualification and appreciation, towards a Patrimonial Good.
This analysis or examination of a work of art offers information and objective data to confront the forgeries and frauds that the artistic universe often suffers.
Counterfeiting has become a global problem in recent decades, due to new marketing channels, as well as the high level of professionalism, technical and executive level in the tracing and plagiarism of works, or the confident vision of collectors. These factors have contributed to the widespread adoption of this practice.
Herein lies the importance of the collaboration of the historian expert in the field, who will essentially use a series of theoretical and practical tools to determine the authentication of the works, their quality, level and authorship.
The first step is to consult, if available, the catalog raisonné of the body of work of the artist who executed the work of art to be studied. These catalogs, following the humanistic and scientific criteria that the creators deserve, are often revised and analyzed in depth by their specialists, in order to keep the body of work of the artists to be studied as up to date as possible.
In addition, this study must be complemented by the data that the research of historical documentation (contemporary or subsequent to the work) may offer us.
In addition, different critical analyses must be carried out, including visual and physical inspection of the piece (study of the support, material and execution), as well as scientific analyses of the pigments used (if the work is a painting or polychrome), and of the different materials used, in addition to the clinical vision of the restoration specialists.
As it is exposed, the study and investigation to determine the authentication of a work of art is a method that involves research, study and critical analysis, trying to be as objective as possible and developing in a practically surgical way the comparison of all the features and workmanship of an artist with other works attributed to him.
There are different tools that the specialist must obtain to be able to examine the piece: ultraviolet light to detect repainting and alterations on the surface of the piece that do not correspond to the time of execution; application of white and cold light to appreciate changes or modifications in the support of the piece; magnifying glasses or lenses of different magnifications; beads (magnifying glass that allows to verify the number of threads of the weft and warp that enter a small square of fabric), and nowadays it is also used to analyze the typography, verification of pixels, in photography or printing.
To better understand the stone sculptures, small flat-pointed hammers allow us to apply light and delicate touches to the works to differentiate between works in limestone or marble and those in cement or concrete.
In recent decades, at the technical level, a large number of photographic devices have been incorporated into the discipline of art-historical studies, such as infrared cameras, which, in the case of paintings, allow us to understand, especially in ancient works, what part of the original work is preserved under the thick layers of repainting applied over the centuries.
In addition, we can also count on the realization of radiographs, which show us, above all, the level of underlying drawing to reveal as faithfully as possible the first steps in the creation of a piece, since before applying the polychrome, the artist made the preliminary drawing.
For paintings and reliefs in stone or wood, the integrity of which has suffered the vicissitudes of time, we have different computer supports that allow us to approach the original appearance of the work, such as the creation of 2D restitution images. For sculptures that have volume, we count on the 3D scanning which allows us to carry out the restitution and reconstruction of the goods to be studied and thus get as close as possible to the original identity of the piece, in case it has suffered any damage.
Understanding the importance of Artistic Goods, and focusing the attention on those that are part of Private Collections, from Tímia Art & ResearchWe dedicate all our efforts to know, apply and develop an exhaustive and as objective as possible process, to the study, investigation and cataloguing of the artistic pieces, incorporating all the technical advances within our reach to be able to value, in the most exact way possible, the Work of Art.