Scientific analysis is a very important step in the authentication process, because it provides a solid foundation of fact-based evidence. Unfortunately, there is not one scientific test (or series of tests) that we can do to confirm the authenticity of a work of art. However, we can very effectively rule out the possibility that an artwork is fake.
For scientific analysis, we usually recommend a combination of imaging and materials analysis techniques. Advanced technology, like Ultraviolet (UV), Infrared (IR) and X-Ray imaging, allows us to see beneath the surface of a painting. Sometimes we find underdrawings or abandoned compositions that provide insight into an artist’s working practice. We can also test samples of pigment, binding material (oil), canvas, wood, paper and other materials to determine if they are appropriate for the time period and location. This can also provide attribution clues, as some artists preferred to work with certain kinds of materials.
We work closely with some of the leading laboratories for the scientific analysis of art in the United States. Our partners perform the physical inspection, imaging, sampling and testing of materials, then present their findings and conclusion in an illustrated scientific report, which Mearto takes under consideration when determining authenticity.
Pricing for scientific analysis is determined by our partner and is based on the complexity of research required. For a personalized quote, please contact [email protected]
Head of Authentication Services
I believe that our authentication products are valuable not only to our customers, but also to the wider art market. My passion for this type of research was born early in my career, when I gained the experience of writing over 100 comparative analysis reports for collectors around the world. I've since had the opportunity to work alongside many industry leaders.
You may ship or personally transport your artwork to one of our partner laboratories, but you are responsible for the arrangements and relevant costs, including adequate insurance. It is also possible to schedule an on-location examination of your artwork for an additional fee to cover our partner’s time and travel expenses.
No. The imaging techniques we use do not interfere with your work of art. Material samples can be gathered in one of two ways: by mapping and removing tiny (microscopic) flecks of paint or loose canvas fibers with surgical tools, or by using non-invasive methods like portable XRF. The latter is usually less expensive, but it doesn’t provide the same level of accuracy.