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Recensione di Giovanni Dall'Orto
Lots of amazing stories may hide beneath the surface of a nice painting....
This is a present from a friend of mine who visited the National Gallery in London (thank you, Mauro), and bought it at their bookstore knowing about my interest in deception, forgery, fakes and doubts about what the words "true" and "authentic" may mean.
you share my interest, this very short book (95 pages: it reads in one
hour, one hour and a half, but the quality of the text is high) the book
will not prove uninteresting.
If you don't, you still might be truly fascinated by the topic: "How can expert assess that a painting is authentic?".
first (and a bit boring) part of the booklet lists the tools (from chemical
analysis to X-rays and infra-red rays) available to an art expert to test
authenticity and authorship of a painting.
The second part (much more entertaining, written in a plain and simple language, that anybody can understand) introduces 16 "case studies" for 16 paintings owned by the National Gallery.
cases span from outright fake, to bona fide copies, passing through
originals mistaken for copies, or originals partially repainted by fakers
or by the author himself who changed his mind.
In all these cases, technical analysis allowed experts to confirm, or to prove wrong, conjectures made by means of "connoisseurship".
is a nice booklet, nicely illustrated, and it is an entertaining reading.
It is too short to really go into any depths into the matter, but it is a well-written introduction for those who approach the topic for the first time.
And above all, if you visited the Gallery, it is an interesting disclosure about the amazing quantity of anecdotes and facts that may lay hidden behind the paintings you just admired.