How Art Authentication Services Identify Forged Artwork

How Art Authentication Services Identify Forged Artwork

Art authentication services are highly valued in the art business. The industry cannot function without them, which is why there is a lot of demand for qualified experts in art authentication and appraisal. To become true professionals, those people must gain extensive knowledge of artistic movements and historical eras, down to the types of paint used in a certain period. Art authentication is especially important in our day and age, considering how advanced the art forging techniques have become. A professional authentication service should be able to conduct a thorough investigation of the piece.

What do experts providing art authentication services look for?

So, how can art authentication services tell a fake piece from a real one? Usually, artists leave clues for future generations, intentionally or not. However, with time, things can get a little bit confusing. Still, there is a basic set of features that a professional would search for.


The signature is an obvious hint at the painting’s authorship. Signing an artwork is the artist’s way to prevent their piece from getting stolen. However, a signature can be copied, so it is important to keep an eye on other signs.

Style of the artist

One of the first things that catch the eye when looking at any work of art is the unique style of the artist. It is the main distinguishing feature of any piece, but, unfortunately, an experienced forger can replicate it.


After comparing the styles, one should check if the materials used in creating the artwork are accurate to the period it was supposedly made in. This point can be a dead giveaway: for example, some paints are difficult to recreate with modern ingredients.


Experts providing art authentication services often look for documentation — also known as provenance — to track down the owners of the piece and the date of its creation. An artist should always ensure their name is marked in the provenance to confirm their authorship.

The craft of art authentication is a difficult one to master. To be able to identify an original artwork, one has to be highly educated and experienced. Whether you are an art collector or a gallery director, you will most likely find yourself opting for professional art authentication services. It is important to make sure that the company you are working with is fully licensed and has all the necessary qualifications. After all, better be safe than sorry.