13 août 2020

What is a certificate of authenticity?

Buying artwork even at a mini price, requires a certificate of authenticity-an important document which guarantees that the work has been created by the artist and not by a forger for example. If you wish to re-sell the artwork, you’re required to have this (think about it, if you buy a work from an individual!).

The latter is usually established by an artist or a gallery, who represents the artist. It gives the name of the creator, the title and the features of the work and ensures its traceability. All things considered, artists have a lot to gain from this and it takes only a few minutes to establish one: it’s a guarantee of reliability, value and they’re sure that their works will be perfectly identified.

It’s good to know: a sculpture can be reproduced several times from the same mold. The latter is still considered « original work », as long as the number of reproductions doesn’t exceed eight. If the sculpture is stone cut or clay modeling, it is created by the artist himself. Only a bronze sculpture requires molding and shall allow a limited number of reproductions, which will be mentioned on the authenticity certificate.

At Carré d’artistes, you don’t need to worry about this, all our works are unique and delivered with a certificate of authenticity.

What should one pay attention to while buying artwork?  

To put it otherwise, how to choose artwork…It’s true that there are many art galleries (approximately 2300 in the world, of which 200 in France), and even more auction houses (14 000 in the world) and artist markets (innumerable!). To find your way around, don’t be afraid of lacking experience or being mistaken on the artist or missing out on the next trendy painter. Listen to your intuition, the one which gives you the irresistible desire to see this work every day, to hang it in your living room and to make it a cornerstone of your decoration. It’s not the artist’s success or popularity which will make it a good daily companion, but certainly the affection for what he has to portray, through his art.

However here is some advice: gaze at the work for a long time, get information on the artist online or ask the gallery owner for some information. They’ll be delighted to respond to you. At Carre d’artistes galleries, you’ll always find a sympathetic and shrewd ear, to answer all your questions, which are never naive! Moreover, think about the colors and materials which make up your daily decor: a work with bright colors won’t necessarily be in keeping with a pastel-colored indoor, but a beautiful yellow painting will go perfectly with a blue couch and it’ll inspire audacity.

As for hanging it-and one must think about this while acquiring it-, don’t forget that the work must be hung at eye-level. It shouldn’t be too big (unless you have an incredible amount of space, like a loft or a ceiling height of several meters), as it might come in the way of spontaneous gestures. For example, a work shouldn’t measure more than two thirds of the sofa’s size, which overlooks it, otherwise it’ll really come in the way.

Last but not least, closely observe the work’s technique. At Carre d’artistes, each work is carefully examined by our expert teams, who make sure that the works displayed on our site and exhibited in our galleries, are of best workmanship!

Is it important for a work to be signed?  

If the authenticity certificate is essential, one shouldn’t expect all the works to have a visible signature. Some artists refuse to add additional detail to their composition! Others on the contrary, give the finishing touches with a signature and systematically endorse this on their works.

Let’s go back a few centuries: during the beginning of the 15th century, to put it otherwise, during the Renaissance era and its large orders, some great masters began signing their works, just like goldsmiths did with a hallmark. But during the 19th century, when the art market became accessible to several clients and signatures became generalized-it made artists credible and popular. 

Today, one can see it painted on paintings but also engraved on sculptures, inscribed at the corner of a photo or at the back of an illustration. Indeed, its presence does entail a cost, but it doesn’t mean that the work is authentic-it’s easy for a forger to copy a signature! So, keep in mind the most important aspect before anything else, which is the authenticity certificate.