6 March 2006 Issue 1

Forensics and Microscopy

in Authenticating Works of Art

DOI: 10.22443/rms.inf.1.3

Fingerprints have been used around the world for identifying individuals since 1908. The availability of such evidence on works of art has been overlooked until the authentication of a Turner canvas in 1985. Since that case, a new methodology has been developed and the new discipline of forensic authentication was born. More recently, the concept of fingerprinting encompasses not only the marks left behind by our fingers but also the materials and working methods, widening the available ways to identify an artist. This innovative forensic approach has helped resolve equivocation and identify numerous important works of art as well as opening up a new field of research in art.

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