Following the success of ‘The Scientist and the Forger: Insights into the Scientific detection of Forgery in Paintings’ written by Egyptian scientist and educator Jehane Ragai and published in 2015, World Scientific Publishing is releasing, a new and somewhat different, second edition in March, which deepens the reader’s journey into the intriguing underworld of the greatest art crimes to date.
Through a series of case studies, Ragai plunges the reader into the tensions and intricacies of an alternately booming and cooling international art market, highlighting in the process the plights of the expert, the collector and the auction house. How can we determine whether it was Leonardo’s hand that created Salvador Mundi? How can we prove that a suspected Pollock is a forgery? How can Man in a Black Cravat be seemingly incontrovertibly attributed to Lucien Freud, despite this artist’s adamant refusal to recognize it as one of his own? How can we safeguard the art market for present and future generations? And can a psychological interpretation shed light on the perplexing behavior of Ann Freedman the former president and director of the Knoedler Gallery?
Building on the first edition, these are some of the questions that Ragai uses to reveal how art historians and scientists collaborate conclusively to authenticate paintings or demonstrate that they are forgeries. She not only equips the reader with an update on fast-evolving scientific techniques used to detect forgery in art (described for the lay person in a separate chapter ) but also provides a holistic understanding of an art world shaped both by history and by rapidly changing views and trends, and one in which some enigmas persist: As that of La Bella Principessa continues to baffle, do we have enough reason to hope that we shall one day know her true story?
Jehane Ragai, author of “The Scientist and The Forger: Probing a Turbulent Art World” is an Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at the American University in Cairo, has worked on the study of the Giza Sphinx and since 2008 is a jury member for the L’Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science award. She was recently elected as a foreign member to the Swedish Royal Society of Arts and Sciences in Gothenburg (an academy established since 1778).
Praise for “The Scientist and the Forger – Probing a Turbulent Art World”
“This second edition is rendered even more fascinating by the inclusion of case studies that illuminate the complexities, tensions and ambiguities of the fast-expanding international art market.” — Martin Rees (Lord Rees of Ludlow) OM, FRS, FREng, FMedSc, Astronomer Royal, Former President of the Royal Society and Former Master of Trinity College, Cambridge
“Jehane Ragai incisively opened all the fascinating, unexpected worlds behind her subject — science, sleuthing and skulduggery. Surely there is no more thorough and entertaining scrutiny of the art of forgery.” — June Mendoza AO, OBE, RP, ROI, HonSWA, Member of the Royal Society of Portrait Artists
“Even the seasoned art historian will learn much from this informative book.” — Jean Michel Massing, Professor of History of Art, King’s College, Cambridge
“Art forgeries is an industry that is growing in size with the increasing value of fine art. Jehane Ragai’s new book is highly recommended for those who want an insight into this obscure fascinating field.” — Krister Homberg, Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences
‘Through a fascinating series of case studies of artists from the 15th to the 20th century, Ragai shows how art historians and scientists can collaborate conclusively to authenticate paintings or demonstrate that they are forgeries. .She is an excellent story-teller.”– Vivien Perutz Visiting lecturer, department of History of Art, University of Cambridge
Review found in the following link on pages 48 and 49 in the Winter 2017 issue of Art and Museum (familyofficeelite magazine)
Vincent Van Gogh
Rembrandt Van Rijn
Leonardo da Vinci
Elena Basner: The expert under siege
The Caravaggio case: Plight of the Auction House
The Knoedler case: Plight of the Collector
SAFEGUARDING THE ART MARKET
New York Law
LA BELLA PRINCIPESSA
The Louvre Mona Lisa
The Prado Mona Lisa
The Isleworth Mona Lisa
Can Science decide?
Techniques reliant on: