Infrared to Helps Art Collectors Find Lost SignaturesDocument Transcript
Infrared to Helps Art Collectors Find Lost Signatures Same technology as used to search for Lost Leonardo – A short video By Kelly Rose Almeida, Guest Blogger This IR instrument is used to search for hidden treasures within art across the globe… From Leonardo Da Vinci to your own paintings There are many tragedies in art history; stories of art lost in wars, burned in protest, or destroyed by dictators. It is rare that these stories have a happy ending. But this anecdote may not be over. In recent years, Maurizio Seracini, an Italian expert in high-technology art analysis, believes that behind one of the murals painted by the architect and artist Giorgio Vasari, lies Leonardos Anghiari fresco. This conclusion was formed because in the upper part of Vasaris fresco, a Florentine fighterwaves a green flag with the words "Cerca trova" ("He who seeks, finds"). These mysteriouswords are suggested to be a clue from Vasari himself. Vasari praised The Battle of Angiari inhis writings, quoting that "it would be impossible to express the inventiveness ofLeonardos design…” It may be that Vasari was hesitant to paint over Da Vinci’s frescowithout some hint as to where it can be found. Right: The "Battle of Marciano in Val di Chiana" (1563) by Vasari. Left: A copy by Peter Paul Rueben of Leonardo DaVinci’s “ The Battle of Anghiari”, which may be hidden beneath Vasari’s mural that now adorns the Hall of Five Hundred in Italy.Every art history class that learns about the beauty of the Renaissance has heard of “TheLost Leonard.” The story begins like so. In 1504 Leonardo da Vinci was given thecommission by Piero Soderinito to honor the Hall of Five Hundred of the Palazzo Vecchio inFlorence, Italy. His adversary, Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, who had justfinished his masterpiece David, was designated the opposite wall. Michelangelo chose todepict The Battle of Cascin and had finished a preparatory cartoon but other complicationskept him from attempting his fresco. Leonardo chose to portray The Battle of Anghiari.
Leonardo not only finished the planning drawings but also began painting his mural. Sadly,he never completed this vision. Decades later, the chamber was reconstructed, and it wasbelieved that this unfinished mural was lost to the ages. It is almost impossible to see whether or not Leonardo’s famous mural existsbeneath Vasari’s fresco, almost being the operative word. Equipped with an infraredreflectometer, Maurizio Seracini and his team can use infrared light to penetrate thethinner layers of paint to reveal whether or not he has discovered the “Lost Leonardo”without damaging the existing fresco, which could help change the course of Western art. Although this tale takes place thousands of miles away, this technology is availableto us here in California. Fine Art Conservation Laboratories in Santa Barbara has an IRreflectometer that can help find similar treasures hidden beneath paintings. The exam canbe done on site or on objects that are brought into the lab. FACL may be the only private labthat has this instrument on the western seaboard. Using an IR reflectometer, headconservator Scott Haskins is able to find hidden or fraudulent signatures,drawings/sketches beneath layers of paint created by the artist, obscured restorations, andinscriptions underneath linings. These details are essential for art collectors that couldalter the history, authenticity, and value of your paintings.A short 2 minute video that was just posted on Youtube was also picked up by CNBC who isplanning to feature Mr. Haskins in a episode of treasure hunter collectors who aresearching for hidden details and clues in their artwork. See the video by clicking on thislink: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWNshrFvl98 (Be sure to give it a THUMBS UPand leave a comment!) It features a painting sold by Christies Auction House in 1899 asattributed to Sir Joshua Reynolds. Here’s the photo below.An IR reflectometer is a remarkable tool that has many capabilities. Its use is worldwide,and its impact is astonishing. With this technology, art conservators, art historians, and artcollectors are able to uncover the mysteries and histories of their beloved works of art.If you have questions about an art item of yours, feel free to call and discuss it with Scott M.Haskins 805 564 3438 or email@example.comFor more information about art appraisals contact Richard Holgate at 805 895 5121Follow Mr. Haskins on Facebook at “Tips for Art Collectors” “Fine Art Conservation” and“Scott M. Haskins”