Charcoal drawing is a dry media achieved by applying charcoal (stick, pencil or powder) to paper. It is a versatile media that can achieve rough, bold marks or smooth and steady ones. Charcoal boldly responds to the drawing surface, while being easily removable. The use of charcoal dates back to ancient times. Charcoal was, and still is used in a variety of artistic techniques outside of drawing, including spolvero, which is a technique of transferring drawings or plans from one surface to another by passing charcoal over small uniform holes that are punched along the drawing’s outline. Charcoal drawing has been historically used as a method of preparation for “finished” works, usually paintings. Preparatory charcoal drawings and finished drawings can be extremely valuable.
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I am so happy to have found Mearto. Their team of seasoned professionals provide a wealth of knowledge in tandem with excellent customer care. They provided an expert valuation and advised me sell a painting that I purchased for just $10 at an estate sale for nearly $1,000 on eBay. I have used them on several occasions and have been extremely pleased every time.
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I used the Mearto authentication service to develop a history of a family owned piece with little to no provenance, except being owned by my family for 65 years. They came back with a 20 page extensive report and included a full page bibliography for reference. The “Stylistic Observations” section of the report was most enlightening comparing my piece to the original, which was on public display in the 1940’s.
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Very polite and professional services that they provide, my appraisal involved looking into an oil painting by an artist whose work is over 400 years old. Not only did they write about the artist but also where he was from and where he was born and most importantly the value, I'm impressed. (worth every penny).
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The authentication report we received from Mearto was very well researched and written, as well as detailed and comprehensive. From an examination of the artist's signature to a discussion of the figural representations in the work, Mearto's art specialists took the time to explain in non-technical terms their findings. Professional, responsive, and kind are just a few words to describe their communication throughout the process-- definitely money well spent!
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One of the most expensive drawings sold to date is by the hand of Raphael Sanzio, which went for $47 million. The work titled Head of an Apostle joined another record-setting drawing titled Head of a Muse, which also sold for a record-setting $47.9 million in 2009 at Christie’s.
Charcoal drawings are, by their nature, very delicate. The charcoal itself sits on the surface of the paper. While the charcoal can stain the surface, the particles never fully adhere. For modern works, a fixative is often applied to bind the particles to the surface. Framing and matting with non-acidic paper is a good way to conserve the integrity of your charcoal drawing without using a chemical adhesive intervention.