Pieces of Art: Determining the Authenticity Using Scientific Processes

Art and science often seem to be two contrasting fields. Science is analytical, process-oriented and heavily dependent on data while art allows people to explore and express their creative elements. However, these diverse fields have a meeting point. Scientific methods come in handy for determining the authenticity of art pieces. Due to their valuable nature, art pieces require proper perseveration to keep their authenticity. It is also necessary to separate replica pieces from the original ones, ensuring that buyers get value for their money. If you are new to exploring art pieces, read this piece to comprehend the scientific processes used to examine art pieces: 

Art Piece Documentation

The first step of determining the authenticity of an art piece is documentation. The evaluators use different scientific tools at this each, with each tool serving a specific purpose. These tools comprise various types of light that bring out the piece's unique qualities. The first one is normal light, which is a spectrum of light visible to the naked human eye. Powerful beams create raking light to illuminate the painting. The beams start on the side of the painting and move across the face of the painting. This allows the examiners to see patterns and depth from a three-dimensional perspective. 

The second step introduces ultraviolet light. It has extremely short wavelengths that are not visible to the naked eye. Typically, ultraviolet light is excellent at exposing any restorations done to the piece. It also shows the conservation of the piece, allowing the examiners to see if the piece has been changed. 

Examining the Layers 

The authenticity of a piece lies in the different layers created by the artist. In this case, the analysis takes on light with long wavelengths that the naked eye cannot see. Special cameras show images of the painting's layers as infrared light passes through the materials. Examiners can then see the nature of sketches made by the artist. These can be charcoal or pencil sketches used to lay out the painting's overall plan. 

Examining the Material

It also helps to look at a painting's material when investigating its authenticity. The process involves a thorough chemical analysis of the materials such as the pigment used to bring out the colour and the binders holding it together. The examiners rely on state-of-the-art devices such as x-ray fluorescence guns to detect the elements present. There is no need to extract a portion from the painting because the device can read the chemical elements when placed beside the painting.

If you need a scientific art investigation, reach out to professionals near you.