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THE ROLE OF SIGNATURE EXPERT IN AUTHENTICATION OF PAINTINGS
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The communiqué deals with the part played by signature expert in the research on autentication o f painting. The research may consist in establishing whether the person whose authorship has been called into question did actually produce the given work or art or in determination o f such o f its characteristic traits which would make it possible for the authorship o f that work being ascribed to a definite artist or circle of artists. Now since expert appraisement o f paintings (like that of documents) calls for technological research, knowledge of materials nad graphical comparative investigations it is the adequate qualifications of experts that make a factor of great significance. Hence, too, the important part played in the studies o f signatures and marks affixed in the paintings by experts in crime detection since they command o f a sufficient stock o f knowledge necessary for investigation o f signatures, initials and other marks and also o f that o f mechanoscopy, dactyloscopy or criminological chemistry. Nevertheless, wherever specialist knowledge is required, e.g. that o f conservation o f the works of art, experts in this field are wanted to appraise the graphical or technological properties of the painting or give an opinion on the authenticity o f the painter’s signature. The author also deals with the practical aspect of the research process where an essential part is played — apart from the expert’s experience-— also by the quality o f the material subject to investigation and, above all, of the comparative one. An expert in the problems o f signing establishes authenticity o f the signature or mark affixed in the painting. He may also make an attempt to establish an approximate date o f signing and the materials used by the artist for the purpose. It is to be brone in mind, however, that the mere recognition of the given mark, initials or signature as genuine or not, does not settle the question o f authenticity o f the work of art concerned. A wholly correct decision in this matter is possible but after the painting subject to the research basing on knowledge o f styles, materials, signatures and, in some cases, also o f mechanoscopy, dactyloscopy, etc. That is precisely why research on authentication o f paintings necessitates collaboration o f experts in crime detection and the history o f arts.
- R. S o s z a l s k i , Wytwor sztuki malarskiej jako przedmiot badań kryminalistycznych, „Problemy Kryminalistyki” , nr 97—98, 1972.
- Zob. np. W. F r o e n t j e s , L ’affaire van Meegeren, „Revue Internationale de Police Criminelle”, nr 23, 1948, i tegoż autora Criminalistics Aspect o f Art Forgery, [w:] Aspects o f Art Forgery, The Hague 1962.
- O zagadnieniu koegzystencji a niekiedy i korelacji wypowiedzi pisemnych i unaoczniających zob. P. S k u b i s z e w s k i , Znaki w dziełach sztuki [w:] Praca zbiorowa, Wstęp do historii sztuki. Przedmiot, metodologia, zawod, t. I, Warszawa 1973.
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