'The scientific techniques described encompass relevant examples of forgery detection and of authentication. The book deals, to name a few, with the Chagall, the Jackson Pollock and the Beltracchi affairs and discusses the Isleworth Mona Lisa as well as La Bella Principessa both thought to be a Leonardo creation. The authentication, amongst others, of two van Gogh paintings, of Vermeer's St Praxedis, of Leonardo's Lady with an Ermine and of Rembrandt's Old Man with a Beard are also described.'Over the last few decades there has been a disconcerting increase in the number of forged paintings. In retaliation, there has been a rise in the use, efficiency and ability of scientific techniques to detect these forgeries. The scientist has waged war on the forger.The Scientist and the Forger describes the cutting-edge and traditional weapons in this battle, showing how they have been applied to the most notorious cases.
The book also provides fresh insights into the psychology of both the viewer and the forger, shedding light on why the discovery that a work of art is a forgery makes us view it so differently and providing a gripping analysis of the myriad motivations behind the most egregious incursions into deception.The book concludes by discussing the pressing problems faced by the art world today, stressing the importance of using appropriate tools for a valid verdict on authenticity. Written in an approachable and amenable style, the book will make fascinating reading for non-specialists, art historians, curators and scientists alike.