Thinking of buying a masterpiece
Francis Bacon once said, «The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.»
Bacon would have had a field day in today’s Russian arts scene, as mysteries are unravelling all over the country that was once the envy of the art world.
In a sobering development, forgers have been purchasing the works of minor European artists, altering them in a process known as «Russification,» painting on the signature of major Russian artists, and selling them for many times their worth. Perhaps even more alarming is that they’re fooling the most reputable auction houses in the world.
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«This scandal is painting a bad picture of our canada goose outlet sale country and the incredible history of our arts.
Experts first caught on to the scam during a Russian art sale at Sotheby’s in May, 2004. The famous London auction house was featuring a piece canada goose outlet in usa attributed to 19th century painter Ivan Shishkin called Landscape With Brook.
However, the painting was not by Shishkin or any other Russian painter for that matter. It was the work of Dutch artist Marinus Koekkoek, sold a year earlier by the Bukowski auction house in Stockholm for between $55,000 and $60,000. By the canada goose uk outlet time the painting reached Sotheby’s, four human figures and a lamb had been removed, and Shishkin’s signature was added. Luckily, experts caught the fraud just in time and took it off the auction block.
A similar case popped up in 2004 with a painting by German canada goose store artist Gustav Daniel Budkowski. Forgers canada goose factory sale purchased canada goose outlet the work in Copenhagen and added the signature canada goose outlet shop of Russian painter Genrikh Semiradsky. After it failed to sell, crooks changed it again, this time inscribing the name of Vasily Kotarbinsky. Apparently two wrongs do make a right as the piece sold for $165,000.
When planning a scam, Zhuravlev says, forgers look for cheaper pieces with distinctively Russian characteristics. Next, they alter the work to match the style of a particular painter.
«They [forgers]are not just people doing this canada goose outlet reviews in their basement. These are large groups of professionals who have the skills to fake any piece and match any paint, and it’s scary because they may never get caught.»
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To date, only two arrests have been made. Tatiana and Igor Preobrazhensky, owners of the Russian Collection gallery in St. Petersburg, were indicted for large scale fraud and face up to 10 years in prison. canada goose outlet black friday The couple denies any wrongdoing, though Tatiana resisted arrest and threatened police after she stole an officer’s gun.
«There is no way of knowing just how big this problem is. The people who buy these paintings don’t want the negative publicity that could happen if they come forward. They prefer to assume their painting is real,» said canada goose black friday sale Zhuravlev.
Vladimir Petrov, a curator at the National Museum of Russian Fine Art, told The Washington Post that he estimates cheap canada goose at least 120 paintings have been purchased in Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands, for prices ranging from $1,000 to $20,000. Petrov believes they have since been «Russified» and resold for up to $1 million.
Last November, Andrey Andreev, director of the Moscow Museum and Art Gallery of Russian Impressionism, was flipping through a Sotheby’s catalogue when he came upon a familiar painting by the Tkachev brothers the very same one that was hanging in his gallery.
Alas, they discovered the Sotheby’s painting was a canada goose outlet store fake. On Nov. 30, 2005, Andreev sent a joint letter signed by Canada Goose Coats On Sale Manin to the auction house. However, it was all for naught as the painting was auctioned and sold the following day.
For many, it is difficult to understand how such a treasured industry could fall under siege to one of the most lucrative art scams in years. But in a world where mass production reigns and fake designer handbags outnumber the real thing 3 to 1, the real question becomes, «How will this sham ever stop?»
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Jason Duval, owner of the Sussex Studio in Ottawa, says the scam process is easier in countries such as Russia because of the size and history of their industry. It is common, he says, for new genuine works to appear on the market as many were hidden away for generations.
«They’ve been painting for a lot longer than we have. They have a lot more cheap canada goose uk artworks and a lot more master artists to duplicate,» said Duval, who represents Canadian contemporary artists in his home based gallery.
Russia boasted a flourishing arts scene in the 19th century with acclaimed artists such https://www.rheingoenheim-info.de as Kiselev, Vasiliev and Polenov.
With less history in Western art markets, Duval says, it is easier to track the source or dealer of a particular piece. «Nowadays there are copies canada goose outlet uk sale of every luxury item on the market. If someone is willing canada goose outlet nyc to invest canada goose coats on sale in one of a kind art, they should definitely do their homework.»
According to Duval, that homework includes looking into who is selling you the painting, comparing it to other pieces by that same artist, and when possible getting a second opinion from someone in the industry.
«This scam is related to one canada goose outlet toronto factory particular period in one area of the world. While canada goose jacket outlet it’s definitely something that needs to be addressed, it should not discourage people from purchasing original works of art,» he said.
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