• gerard van weyenbergh

Art Expert: Is a certificate of authenticity ( COA) for a painting really necessary?

Since more than 35 years I am working on art authentication research. I met experts for Pablo Picasso that changed 3 times of authority status for the last 20 years. At first it was "Comite Picasso" "Maya Picasso" ( who is, in my opinion, the best expert for Picasso) and now it is Claude Picasso and the Administration Picasso. When I started to work on Picasso authentications research files in the 90's it was " Comite Picasso in Paris" who was the authority until 1993. In 1933 "Comite Picasso" was dissolved. The given reason was a disagreement between Maya and Claude both children from Pablo Picasso from different beds. In private circles, some experts from this " Comite Picasso" had the reputation to receive amounts of money under the table to agree on the authenticity of a painting.

After the dissolution of the "Picasso Comite" in 1933 Maya Picasso was considered the unique recognized authenticator.

Usually people accepted her certificate as being sufficient to warrant the authenticity of a painting. Important auctioneers however were still looking to have the certificate from both of them Maya and Claude Picasso. This second opinion looks to be a very good choice made by the auctioneers since Maya Picasso today is no longer the sole recognized authenticator. Many interrogations raised for collectors who have a certificate of authentication made by Maya Picasso only. Indeed today it is " Picasso Administration" who gives his agreement for the authenticity of a painting. "Picasso Administration" is composed by 5 heirs of Pablo Picasso but Maya Picasso, his daughter, is excluded.

For every important painting of a master you will need to have a certificate of authenticity not older than 3 months.

Let's consider as example Andre Lhote, an important French master with results up to $ 2.5 M in auctions.

When Jean Gouin, heir and unique recognized expert for Andre Lhote died, new unique authenticity expert Mrs. Berman-Martin refused several artworks authenticated by late Jean Gouin, under the motive he had made too much errors.

For many years, the certificate of authenticity made by Jean Bouin was the only one recognized in auction houses. It caused of course many lawsuits.

The contestations are also active for very important masters so Pierre-Auguste Renoir, with results in auction as high as $ 71 Million.

Late sole recognized authenticator Francois Daulte recognized, at the end of his life, several paintings by Renoir. After Francois Daulte died, the authenticity of these works were contested immediately by Mr. Dauberville.

Also important museum curators are making enormous mistakes.

Colossus by Goya, once the most important work Goya made, is no longer by his hand!

Mrs. Manuela Mena, curator for the 18th. century paintings of Prado Museum in Madrid, declared in June 2008 that Goya did not paint the "Colossos". It was supposedly painted by Asencio Julia. The most important painting made by Goya is no longer a major artwork!