Fakes, fakes everywhere (ctd.)

July 9 2018

Image of Fakes, fakes everywhere (ctd.)

Picture: via TAN

The painting of St Jerome exhibited at the Met as a work by Parmigianino (for the backstory see here) has again been declared a fake, this time by the Italian analyst Maurizio Seracini. The journalist who has been at the heart of this story, Vincent Noce, writes in The Art Newspaper:

[...] he found a “synthetic resin”, manufactured after 1930, in the varnish and used “as binding media, throughout the layers of the painting”, according to the report. “Infiltration of the surface varnish in the layers underneath should be totally ruled out,” he insists, “since no other binding media was found in the paint layers”. Seracini also detected modern pigments such as zinc sulphide and titanium dioxide in the ground layer, suggesting the forgery might have been made “around the first half of the 20th century”.

Seracini’s theory is that Saint Jerome was painted over another composition covered by an old varnish, which was “either scraped off or cleaned up”. He also notes “long-lasting woodworm activity” and “significant damages” consistent with age on the panel, but not on the painting. The same contradiction was noticed in the painting sold as a Cranach to the Prince of Liechtenstein. Both works, among others, are now sequestered in Paris by order of the judge in charge of a criminal investigation that opened in 2015.

The suggested date of the forgery is interesting, pointing to the earlier half of the 20th Century. Though personally I think we're dealing with someone making these paintings much more recently. 

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