Posted on: December 12th, 2011

With new knowledge and understanding into the materials and techniques artists use, technical art history is becoming a more established tool for authentication. Paintings by modern masters (which can be notoriously difficult to authenticate, in terms of materials and techniques) are now coming under scrutiny. This has also led to an increase in the number of paintings having their attribution challenged and in some cases discredited. Recently, we have been following the story of the German forgers who faked 53 works. Now a painting by another modern master, Jackson Pollock, is being called into question.

Pierre Lagrange bought his ‘Pollock’ painting, ‘Untitled 1950’ in 2007 from Knoedler, New York for $17 million. After having a technical examination done, the painting’s attribution is being questioned. Suspicions arose when the painting was traced to a Long Island art dealer that the US Federal authorities were investigating for selling forgeries. The technical tests conducted by Mr Lagrange on the painting’s materials established that two of the pigments present in the painting were not invented until after Pollock’s death!