The art world often deals in large amounts of money, but unlike other markets the buyer will often opt out of commissioning their own assessment before a purchase. The consequences of this are now surfacing, the most recent report comes from an institute in Geneva that verifies the authenticity of artwork who have determined that over half of the pieces in circulation today are either forgeries or misattributions.

A stereomicroscope being used to examine a painting. Photo via A stereomicroscope being used to examine a painting. Photo via

The FAEI (Fine Art Experts Institute) use a variety of methods to study art pieces. When investigating whether a painting is authentic or not, the institute uses methods such as carbon dating, infrared reflectography and X-rays. The analysis isn't cheap, depending on the methods it could cost up to $19,000. However, an art piece's value increases when it has been authenticated by the FAEI.

The institute has determined that around 70% - 90% of the artwork that they examine are fakes. Recent forgeries that have been discovered include works that were claimed to be by Paul Gauguin, Marc Chagall and Jackson Pollock. On a brighter note, the testing does work both ways and there have been instances where pieces have been deemed to have a greater value.


Story via Artnet/FAEI