Even experts can be wrong and/or miss things! BBC: “Van Dyck painting ‘found online'”

Even museum curators miss things some times, very important things, as exemplified by this BBC article on a Van Dyck painting that was in a museum collection, but thought to be a copy. One of the hurdles that art professionals must over come with the public is the idea of being an expert. I forget who said it, but it was a good quote, “we know a lot about a little and a little about a lot”. In between these two extremes we must be guided by following standard procedures that we learn on how to get to the bottom of the facts and not merely base it in ego and opinion. Some times it is easy, generally it is hard. There is a very high standard to proving authenticity, and as you will see in this BBC article, even the experts can miss things. This is not from ineptitude, but generally caution, some times due to emerging new scientific techniques that had not previously been available, some times from missing obscure clues. If you want to get to the bottom of the truth of your pieces, you must be willing to allow the expert to do what they must in it’s entirety, and this is generally very involved. Just because you do not see the procedures, does not mean it is a simple process. However, if allowed to follow through completely, the truth will be disclosed. Enjoy the read from the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-21712209. The image below is taken from the BBC article.

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Greg C. Brown, MS, ISA.                                                                                                        gregcbrown@asianappraisals.com.

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