Pretend you are an art appraiser.
Compare your painting to those in the artist’s catalogue raisonne.
A catalogue raisonne is a book citing all the known works by an artist typically arranged in chronological order. The catalogue raisonne lists titles, dates, editions and often photographs of all known artworks. In many cases, the artwork’s ownership and location is cited as well.
A relatively new shortcut to discover the title of the catalogue raisonne you want to consult is at the International Foundation of Art Research’s website www.ifar.org
- Click the navigation bar along the left side (on the IFAR’s home page) marked Catalogues Raisonnes.
- Type the name of artist in the search box.
- Verify artist’s name by clicking on the correct name in the next screen.
- Next you will see lists of appropriate catalogue raisonnes. Often there are different ones, depending on what the artwork’s medium is (prints, posters, drawings, paintings, sculpture)
- IF there is no raisonne, IFAR’s site often identifies who is configuring a raisonne in progress and how to contact that person or organization.
Of course, if your artwork is a type of reproduction, you won’t need to contact anyone.
In upcoming Savvy blogs, different types of reproductions will be disclosed.
Corinne Cain of www.SavvyCollector.com
a little art speak: practiced art players call them “cat razzes”
Also, if your local or museum library does not own a copy of the catalogue raisonne, petition Interlibrary Loan to borrow a copy for your use. Often there is a fee have the book transferred to your library. All of this constitutes Step #1 in the process of determining if your painting is authentic.
Great post. The link to IFAR is really useful. Question: What if an artist, in this case, a very well-known contemporary artist, does not yet have a catalogue raisonne? Where does one go next?