What is an authenticated artwork?

Artwork Authentication

An artwork is authenticated by proving that it has indeed been created by the artist. A certificate of authenticity which is like the artwork's identity card — can be provided at the time of the sale to ascertain the work's authenticity. The certificate may be provided by the artist, the art gallery that represents them, or an expert specialised in the artist's work. If no certificate is provided, the invoice from the gallery can also be regarded as proof and may be used to justify authenticity in the event of a resale or donation.

Authentication of a fine art photograph or print

When an artwork is printed in several copies, as is often the case with photography or prints, for example, there are several guidelines to keep in mind when it comes to buying or selling. It is recommended that each print be signed and numbered, and it preferable if they have been made by the artist. The higher the number of versions available, the less valuable the artwork. For instance, it is best to purchase photographs that have been printed in fewer than 30 copies if you are looking for an artwork with substantial value.

If the work does not meet all the criteria, the transaction must be carried out very transparently – the collector should be in possession of all the information relating to the artwork before committing to the purchase.

It is important to carefully keep the certificate of authenticity and the invoice as they can useful in a number of situations such as in case of a resale or donation (for example to a museum or in the event of an inheritance), or in case of damage to your the work, a certificate may be required by the insurance company.

Tip: Checking if the artwork you want to buy on Artsper is sold with a certificate of authenticity is easy. Simply look at the section Description > Authentication. If the artwork is listed as not having a certificate of authenticity, the he invoice issued by Artsper serves as proof. It is therefore important to keep a record of it.