Fakes, fakes everywhere? (ctd.)

October 7 2016

Image of Fakes, fakes everywhere? (ctd.)

Picture: FT

The revelation that Sotheby's had declared the above 'Hals' a fake made the front page of the Financial Times yesterday. The story was was then on BBC Radio 4's World at One, in an interview with yours truly. Here's the BBC News take on the story, with astute comments by Will Gompertz on the need for decent provenance.

The news has obviously become a major story, and there will be more press in days to come. I'll have a piece in the FT about it on Saturday. I'll also be writing more about it here on AHN in some depth. In the meantime, here is the latest from Vincent Noce, the French journalist who has done more than anyone to break the story, and has been doggedly pursuing all the leads for months.

There is alas more to come. Much more. The headlines have so far been along the lines of 'Old Master market reels'. But how do we know this clever faker, who has a genius-like ability to mimic a wide range of artistic styles, was not also involved in other areas. Why would he or she not have had a go at, say, Impressionists, where the ageing problems are less of a challenge.

Update - a reader writes:

It seems there is a need for an open and transparent passport system, post sale, so that one can honestly and genuinely track provenance. It is clear that "provable" provenance is going to be increasingly important in the future. 

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