Fakes, fakes everywhere? (ctd.)

January 29 2017

Image of Fakes, fakes everywhere? (ctd.)

Picture: Sotheby's

There was interesting follow up piece in The Times on the latest fake news (following Sotheby's declaration that a St Jerome - above - attributed to Parmigianino by numerous scholars is a modern forgery). The previous owner of a number of the pictures, Giulano Ruffini, denied to The Times that the St Jerome could possibly not be a 16th Century work, and cast doubt of the technical analysis carried out so far (though no details were given). 

Mr Ruffini, 71, who lives on an estate in northern Italy, is a mysterious figure who has been reluctant to talk to the press. This week, however, he spoke out to dispute technical analysis of the works and noted that it was not he but renowned scholars who had attributed the work to Renaissance artists.

“There is no way [Saint Jerome] could be a modern copy,” he told The Art Newspaper. “It might be another artist of that time but experts and curators from the Metropolitan Museum [in New York] did consider it as a possible Parmigianino.”

The Times also reported that two other minor works connected to Ruffini were being investigated:

A Sotheby’s spokesman told The Times that it had not finished its review of works linked to Mr Ruffini. “There are two other works that Sotheby’s sold, with a combined value of less than £40,000, that we are investigating in relation to the Ruffini matter,” he said.

And yours truly was quoted in the piece:

Bendor Grosvenor, an art historian, said that whoever created the works was a remarkably gifted painter. He said that allegations of fakery had shaken up the Old Master market. “What this affair does is plonk a rather awkward bomb under the whole system of how we in the Old Master world determine who painted what,” he said. “We need more scientific analysis and more rigorous connoisseurship.”

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