Certificate of Authenticity
Example of a certificate of authenticity and some extra information about the artist and painting issued by Gallery Sorelle Sciarone at the sale of every painting sold at the gallery.
What is a certificate of authenticity?
A certificate of authenticity is a document that accompanies a painting or anything of worth at the point of the first sale. Than means, when the painting goes into the wide world for the first time, it gets a sort of birth certificate. This birth certificate helps the world around the painting place it in relation to its parents/the artist and its career later. Any future sales of the painting can be added to the back of the painting and/or certificate. For a very long time, a signature of the artist and the original invoice was enough to prove authenticity of a painting. This act of including a certificate of authenticity is a way the art world tries to ensure credibility and transparency. It also acts as a paper trail for historical administration.
Why is a certificate of authenticity included?
In the art world as a whole:
Around the 1960’s with installations, photography, performance art became more prevalent we moved to a new sort of art world. This new art world meant that the idea behind the art was more important than the physical piece. This sometimes meant that the idea or the object could easily be stolen and sold. Some art work is even only sold as the idea. The buyer is in charge of completing constructing the art work. Forgery had never been so easy.
This is still a very ongoing issue is with photographs, even here in The Netherlands today. We still see this happening a lot in photography prints meant for coffee table books, are teared out and sold as stand-alone prints. Unsuspecting photography lovers will recognize the photographers work and be amazed at being able to afford the work or that the work is even being sold. Officially these same photos will be sold in select batches in other formats too insure their exclusivity. Being sold in another format is fraudulent. However, it is difficult to know which photographs are sold in how many editions and in how many sizes. Often photographers are left to find these fraudulent art dealers themselves, when admirers share or complain about these fake sold pieces. And as soon as these art dealers show up, they disappear, making them hard to trace. Or even legitimate art dealers, may fall on hard times and sell these types of photographs in an act of desperation. The artist never sees any of this money and when it reaches media attention, harming the whole industry’s credibility. So a certificate of authenticity is the industries way of combating fraud in the art market.
Paintings even with a signature:
In painting we see it happen that a painting can be photographed and reproduced in China at the fraction of the cost. China has many skilled painters and has a more sharing cultural mindset. This skill and cultural difference is usually misused by western individuals attempting to pay less for a painting that touched them. No one wins in this situation. Not the artist, not the gallery investing in them, and Chinese painters are villainized by proxy of the actions of people attempting to save a few euros. Many galleries I have been too in South Africa have asked me to refrain from photographing in their establishment, due to the prevalence of this actions. I had no camera with me, but was almost part of the standard greeting.
Art historically, reproducing paintings this way was very normal. Art students first had to be able to paint as the masters, before they may become their own artist in their own right. So artist copied and reproduced each other’s work, studying their form and technique. This is also how we know that an artist was famous in his time, there are a lot of contemporary reproductions. It is a very helpful way to study art, artist and their artistic reach. Also a lot of high art from history is the production of a whole studio team employed by the master painter. The apprentice painted the background in the style of their mentor and the artist would fill in the details or do the main person.
So painting has a long and complicated history in itself when it comes to how we understand authentic paintings these days. In our current western society, we believe a painting is a painting of a particular art work, when it is made by the hand of the specific artist. But obviously this obsession with authenticity is also played with endlessly by the likes of Damien Hurst and Takashi Murakami. Both artist provide the idea of which is performed by other artists or artisans. These artist also use certificates of authenticity due their artistic practice. So to ensure everyone is getting exactly what they expect from the transaction, a certificate of authenticity helps making sure all the information is together on one place and is signed for by the person in charge of the transaction, the gallery or the artist.
What does a certificate of authenticity look like?
A certificate of authenticity contains the following elements
Details of the painting
The name of the painting
The Artists name
Year of Completions
A high resolution photograph of the painting
Details of the Sale
Date it was sold
Who sold it: gallery and artist details
Artist information (extra)
Information about the artist and the artwork
Gallery Sorelle Sciarone
Gallery Sorelle Sciarone currently sells the following artists paintings exclusively.
All original and newly made paintings by Adéle du Plessis
All original newly made paintings by Els Kampert,
The Geometric series of work by Gemma Jonker,
All original and newly made paintings by Monique Leliefeld
Paintings by these artist are sold through Gallery Sorelle Sciarone will have a certificate issued by us. The artist have sold and given away their paintings from their own studio to friends and family over the years. These paintings do not have a gallery certificate from Gallery Sorelle Sciarone.
Gallery Sorelle Sciarone is not the exclusive dealer of Marko Klomp.
Marko Klomp’s paintings are sold by many other galleries in The Netherlands. Paintings by Marko Klomp can have different authenticity certificates by different galleries or none. All original paintings by Marko Klomp sold through Gallery Sorelle Sciarone comes with a certificate of authenticity.
Gallery Sorelle Sciarone is not a reseller of any other paintings. We specialise in selling contemporary paintings by contemporary artist to contemporary collectors. All paintings have only been previously owned by the painters themselves. That is why all our paintings come with a certificate of authenticity. Together with the artist signature on the painting and the invoice all the information you need to be sure that we hold the highest standard of respectability as a gallery.
We ask all our artist to sign their work, either on the back of the painting or on the front. Some artist paint their signature and the year. Others paint or write their signature at the back, with or without a date. All the paintings are made post 1980 and the majority after 2010. Many of our female artists, use their maiden names in their art work, or a combination of their maiden names and married names in their signature.
Artists and buyers
Every art work sold and the details of the sale is also sent to the artist.
The artist has the buyers details and the date, conditions and price the painting was sold under.
The painting always stays the intellectual property of the painter. That means the painting cannot be used in a way that will harm the reputation of the artist. Usually this is a term that never needs to be addressed, unless there is extensive media presence around the offending action. The buyer is the official owner of the painting, but cannot resell the image for profit.
Paintings of living artist may not be resold without informing the gallery or the artist about the resale. The artist and his heirs has the right to know and share in the profits of any and all eventual resale (not the gallery that originally sold it). But only if the work is sold through a professional reseller (Auction site, gallery etc.) and above the price of €3000,00 for up to 70 years after the death of the artist.
Our artist at the Gallery Sorelle Sciarone are not world famous icons and the chance that their art will be requested for a museum exhibition in the near future is very small, but the art world can and will surprise you.
The artist also has the right to request the temporary return of an artwork for exhibitions. The buyer has can say no to this request, but it is in everyone’s best interest to stay open for these requests. The painting will then be returned to the owner and all costs around the painting transfer and safety is for the artist/museum.
For more information regarding the rights around paintings you can read the legal on the website of the Dutch government. As the paintings are created in The Netherlands under the Dutch law of authors rights.