Authenticity and Labels
Art buyers and sellers know that the authenticity of a painting can often be a point of contention. It is common for a painting to not get sold if it cannot be validated as that of the painterís and the value of a painting could severely decrease if its authenticity is question. Unfortunately with many people out there looking to make a large sum of money off of a forgery, loads of individuals fall victim to copies of famous paintings. Thus a process for validating paintings becomes essential to the business.
The authentication process continues to be a problem but one of the enduring ways of getting around forgeries is through marking paintings in some form so that they are immediately recognizable as real.
More specifically, what can help with the authentication process are things like analyzing the chemical composition of the paints, signature verification, comparisons with validated paintings for style consistency, some sort of tamper proof labels and certificates. These types of verification are common practice in the art world. As an art buyer, one would expect auction houses should include in their guide books how the paintings are certified. It is also generally possible for the buyer to bring in someone who can validate the authenticity of a painting.† Additionally, many artists have a way of certifying their own work and thus if you are knowledgeable about the artist whose work you wish to buy you can be more sure of authenticity.
Because the art world demands both a large financial and knowledge commitment, it is best to be cautious. As a rule of thumb those looking to get into the art buying market should do a lot of research prior to purchasing. These markets are high stakes and the purchasing of an inauthentic painting can set a person back thousands of pounds.
That being said, work done with label printers and new forms scientific forms of verification are attempting to keep those in the art business ahead of forgers. Thus if you are interested in getting involved in the art world, your only requirement is to do your homework before purchasing. After all, no one wants to spend a fortune on a renaissance painting just to find out it was done in 2008.