Now here’s an exhibition I wouldn’t mind seeing – it’s called Close examination, Fakes, Mistakes and Discoveries’ and it is on at the National Gallery from tomorrow to 12th September. The paintings were bought in good faith (for massive amounts of money) and have since been found to be fakes.
The exhibition is dedicated to the scientists whose tests have proved that the works are not what they seem. Using expensive equipment, x ray, infra red photography and other methods, they have been able to go beyond the surface of ‘masterpieces’ by Botticelli, Velásquez, Rembrandt, Dürer, Holbein, and Poussin.
It’s not all bad news though, Madonna of the Pinks by Raphael, thought to be a copy has now been authenticated as the real thing. Plus, mysteries abound as scientists try to discover the genuine from the fake and are left with a genuine – but who really painted it? I would really like to investigate this exhibition and see just how much money has been wasted and see how the scientists arrived at their diagnosis! particularly intriguing is a painting of a Victorian beauty who when x rayed turned out to have started life as a naked 16th century courtesan:)
Good article about the exhibition here
National Gallery here