Expert Analysis

Thanks to years of experience and work in the field, we have created a database of information on works of art and artists, which provides us with an excellent basis for verifying the authenticity and veracity of works of art. We have developed not only a number of restoration technologies (amongst others, we have cooperated with the picture gallery of Prague Castle and the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts in the restoration of oil paintings through controlled chemical processes using enzymes separated from Arctic shellfish, etc.) and also investigative non-destructive methods that enable investigation of layers of paintings and of the canvas support and coatings, without it being necessary to take samples or in any way affect the substance of the picture. This non-destructive method is especially welcome when deciding on authenticity. For example, in 1996 we verified a work thought to be a forgery purported to be drawn by Paul Gaugin – a sketch on paper. We modified software for differentiation of poorly focused satellite pictures for X-ray and thermal light transmission through paper with coloured filters. Under the drawing were discovered traces of erased writing, corresponding to notes about purchases in a shop selling colours. Graphological analysis determined the characteristics of the writing, the colour composition was compared with the colours employed by the famous painter and it was thus confirmed that the work was in fact authentic, which was later recognized by all the experts who had previously doubted the authenticity. Similarly, we managed to discover a forgery in a work that was presented as being indisputably authentic on the most prestigious auction platforms. Amongst others, we can mention the works of famous artists such as Canaletto and Velazquez.

In addition to authenticity, we also frequently deal with aspects of conservation and storage of works obtained in auctions. Pictures are often affected by mould caused by improper storage conditions and drawings are mounted unsuitably. It is necessary to decide on the best way to mount a valuable drawing so that it can be transported, exposed to sunlight and stored in an optimally humid environment. We are capable of carefully considering all these parameters and deciding on the best approach.

We have summarized our findings in this area in a number of professional publications (Damage to works of art by mould, Novel enzymatic technologies to safeguard the cultural heritage).