|"...that questionable Old Master art
attributions have reached scandalous proportions."
Veritus AG, the world leader in
digital verification, is now publishing electronically the results of many years of
research into Old Master paintings. The information published at this site is an
abbreviated form of the information that will be published in several forthcoming
Catalogue Raisonn�s and reference works. The complete Catalogue Raisonn�s and reference
works will be available in both traditional print media as well as in the new DVD format.
The Catalogue Raisonn�s will include more extensive findings, provenance and analysis
than are available at this site.
Veritus employs modern digital technologies to verify the authorship of oil
paintings from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries. It has been clear to art
historians and scholars of this generation that questionable Old Master art attributions
have reached scandalous proportions. The main reason for this deluge of inaccurate
attributions is that attributions were based on the subjective opinions of self-appointed
experts rather than on technical findings and facts. The methodology used by many of these
self-appointed experts to determine attributions was in essence the same methodology used
for gambling in roulette. The key difference being the expert places his bet and it is the
buyer who takes the chance.
With the purpose of providing accurate attribution resource material,
Veritus is sponsoring several artist research committees. These committees utilise the
latest in digital verification technologies to determine accurate attributions for
artists long dead and to eliminate human error, deception and bias in determining
The first committee formed by Veritus was the Caravaggio Research Committee.
The results of the committee research provided some surprises. Only sixty percent of the
paintings previously published by various experts as the works of Michelangelo da
Caravaggio were confirmed as being of his hand. Most of the other forty percent were
confirmed to be the works of other artists who merely painted in the style of Caravaggio.
An online version of the Catalogue Raisonn� may be viewed at this web site in the artist
However, attribution problems with the Italian artists did not reach the
scandalous levels of the misattributions that occurred with Northern European artists. The
actual authorship of paintings by the most important of the Northern European artists were
lost in a veritable blizzard of false and dubious attributions. The Veritus sponsored
Rembrandt Research Committee has already posted its findings. Only a small percentage of
the paintings traditionally attributed to the hand of Rembrandt van Rijn are actually by
his hand. The vast majority of paintings previously attributed to Rembrandt are either
studio collaborations or student paintings. An online version of the Catalogue Raisonn�
may be viewed at this web site in the artist section.
Research Committees were also formed for the artists Rubens, Goya, Van Dyck,
El Greco and Raphael. These artists were chosen as it is readily acknowledged that serious
attribution problems exist with these artists. Preliminary data for these artists may be
found in the artist section of this web site. Many of the paintings traditionally
attributed to these artists are works from students, studios and followers. This
underscores the problem of using subjective and often wildly optimistic opinions to
establish values of multimillion dollar purchases.
The directors of Veritus are confident that the use of forensic evidence and
twenty-first century technologies will become the 'de facto standard' for all Old Master
attributions. Reliable and repeatable attributions based upon modern technology eliminate
human errors and bias, which account for the largest source of verification problems.
Veritus attributions are based upon fact, not upon dubious circumstantial evidence,
subjective opinion or certain mystical feelings. No other method of verification can
provide the level of security or confidence for the collector, the scholar or museum
curators. Digital verifications are clearly the standard of the future. It is no
longer necessary to fall prey to the whims of a self-appointed or self-interested
Until recently, fine art attribution was the only multimillion-dollar
business in the world that did not depend upon digital technology to provide verification
of property. Veritus digital attributions are already in use for cases of insurance fraud.
Insurance companies no longer have to face risks of fraud involving multimillion-dollar
policies on paintings worth only a few thousand dollars. Veritus certificates are being
requested as forensic evidence in legal cases involving fraudulent misattribution. Several
banks have made a digital verification certificate a necessity prior to the approval of a
loan for the purchase of certain art works. No serious collector should purchase a
painting without verifying the authenticity using digital technology.
Information concerning the methodology, the technologies and their
limitations are highlighted at this site. Also, the method of data presentation is
illustrated. It is strongly suggested that the first time viewer follow these links prior
to examining the results of the different artist research committees. Without a basic
understanding of limitations and data presentation, it is impossible to receive an
accurate impression of the results of these findings.
This site is extensive and contains several hundred pages of
data research and explanation. It is organised around five core areas to provide for
simple navigation of the large volume of pages available to the researcher or casual