the man his art On the experts Fakes & Forgeries On the market
from Born to Venice Drawings Past experts Myth and reality on his fakes The market
Arrival to Paris Sculpture Catalogues done in the past Famous forgers trust in the market?
Becoming an artist Painting Actual /Living experts known and undoubted fakes Auctions & Modigliani
on the path All the attributed works Catalogues of actual experts how to detect a fake Galleries & Museums
The artist Exhibitions during his lifetime How should an expertise must be done what to do with forgeries and forgers Famous collectors fromt the past to actual times
The myth Exhibitions until today News on the experts Art Historians, a trustable source? News on the market
Selected bibliography on him News on his art References  and Bibliography on the experts references on fakes & forgeries references & links on the market


Another great "French invention" so to give a complete idea I will just state the raw facts (as in many other french inventions, the intention is glorious - for 18th century - but the practice is bordering on the creepy side, or directly in the deepest point.)


So let's go...

- What is a catalogue Raisonné?-
(pr. RAY-zə-NAY)
Oxford English Dictionary defines "catalogue" as:

1.- A list, register or complete enumeration.

2.- Now usually distinguished from a mere list (emphasis added) or enumeration by systematic or methodical arrangement


The Catalogue Raisonné Scholars Association definition is:

Catalogue Raisonné: [Fr., = carefully studied or methodical catalogue.] A descriptive catalogue arranged according to subjects, or
branches of subjects; hence gen. or loosely, a classified or methodical list. (OED).

........................................................................................................................................................................................................
- In common language, the main requirements -

  • catalogue raisonné covers every known work an individual artist has ever made up to the year of the catalogue's publication.

  • Typically, a catalogue raisonné is only written by the leading expert(s) on said artist, over the course of many years research.

  • The expert(s) details each piece with a complete provenance, title, medium, size, condition and any other publications in which the piece has been written up.

  • In modern ones there must be a color photo of each work, in older ones these are in B/W.

  • A standard catalogue raisonné also includes examples of the artist's signature, common marks, a biography and in just some cases
    ( legal  problems) information on works that are attributed to the artist, lost works and fakes.

  • All of this makes for a large volume, or volumes, if the artist had a prolific life production.

  • They are always expensive, so finding catalogue raisonnés in a public library is recommended for anyone on a normal budget.
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- But the main question, is it possible to fulfill the requirements to call it Raisonné?-
 

Expected contents of a catalogue raisonné, an ideal one should provide the following:

- Dark gray what is supposed to be the case.
- Light gray the reality.

ALL the artworks of the artist:
Impossible, even the art historians with a close relation to the artist, or the artists themselves, usually forget works (and don't even think of using a medium to contact Leonardo da Vinci).
Title:
ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE (how many lost or untitled works?, and another question:  is the title given by the artist, the dealer, the public, the owner, etc. correct?   Should it be mentioned if not?).
Images:
ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE (lost or unknown).
Medium i.e. oil, watercolor, etching, etc.
QUITE EASY IF YOU ACCESS THE WORKS LIVE, BUT IF they are not accessible, THEN IT'S IMPOSSIBLE.
Dimensions:
for works on paper the dimensions may include image size, plate size where applicable, and paper size.
IMPOSSIBLE, EVEN THE AUCTION HOUSES THAT HAVE DIRECT ACCESS CHANGE MEASUREMENTS AS THEY GO FROM ONE TO ANOTHER AUCTION.
For prints, a description of the various states (i.e. each time the artist modified the matrix from which the print was made) and a description of each edition of the various states.
Not even in the living ones is THIS ASPECT correct.
A discussion of related works (where applicable) by the same or other artists and in some cases a commentary by a curator as to what the artist is exploring in the work.
SOUNDS EASY, you can fit in many things so this could probably be yes
Provenance (the names of former owners, dealers who were involved in the sale of the piece, and shows where the piece has been exhibited.) This may give some credibility to the authenticity of the work.
PURE LOGIC, BUT ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE, MANY THINGS TO HIDE, lost OR simply unknown (thinking they know).
List of the literature ("literaturverzeichnis") that discusses the work
IF THEY DON'T HAVE TO MENTION EACH OTHER, THIS ASPECT CAN BE SOLVED. many art historians have a strong "prima donna" tendency, so they usually tend to change dating, titles, omit others work, etc.
Condition reports. This only applies to unique items such as oils or watercolors. With multiples (e.g. prints, some cast works, etc.) the condition would not be reported unless the pieces were of extreme scarcity
NOT IMPOSSIBLE, BUT IMPROBABLE TO FIND IT ACCURATE, anyway let's be indulgent...
In addition, the catalogue often should contain:
An introductory essay discussion of the artist's life (gen .shorter than a whole monograph on the artist)
Yes more or less accurate even the worst can solve the question.
Disputed, questionable and spurious works
Nowadays impossible or they will be in lawsuits with no end unless they use science (and most don't even know that word and call themselves "doctors")
Example signatures
sy if you have clear what is real and what is a fake..
Indices listing each work should contain:
current location (city/museum) or owner
No matter how accurate it could be. in 2 years or so, it will have to be updated.
It's impossible in any modern to contemporary work, maybe possible in the case of great old masters with all works in museums.
scholars who have commented on it
IF THEY DON'T HAVE TO MENTION EACH OTHER, THIS ASPECT CAN BE SOLVED. many art historians have a strong "prima donna" tendency, so they usually tend to change dating, titles, or the name of the others...
Easy access or diffusion:
accessibility:
This sounds easy but when you have to print 5 volumes of 300 pages each, and only 2,000 units are printed, then it is by nature a very limited product.
availability:
This sounds easy but when each edition costs 500 usd (the cheap ones) and the author does not provide one for free to the main public libraries, it becomes quite a rarity to find the book...
duration:
A book can last many years, but just one change of owners, a robbery, or finding a lost work....then it must be updated (the 5 volumes and 1500 pages) so it is nonsense.
the result is:

YES  
No

-4 possible against 14 impossible-

 


OK once we admit we have a problem, what is the solution?


ON-LINE CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ USING SCIENCE

· Known art works by an artist can be on the web while other additional pieces become available.
· Titles can be added or changed as soon as historical information becomes available.
· Information on each artwork can be added to the site as it becomes available.
· Images can be added to the site as they become available.
· Comparison or historical relation to others can be easily added and increased or updated.
· Errors or omissions can be rectified instantly.
· High quality images can be downloaded on demand.
· Using science and not medium skills, fakes and forgeries can be stated clearly with no lawsuits.
· The easy access of an on-line catalogue allows it to develop (and be seen) so this may imply that new information will appear.
· Online catalogues do not go out of print.
· Online catalogues are free to see and consult.

In summary:
Yes, it can be the work of a lifetime, but it will be well done, accessible, updated, trustworthy, useful.

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can travel to the past, but what do you think the Art Historians/Expert/Connoisseur, think of it:

- NO WAY -

THE REASONS THEY ALLOW FOR THE NEGATIVE ARE AS STUPID AS:

1.- I DONT USE THE INTERNET.
( C' mon, improve yourself...)

2.- THEN ANY ONE CAN HAVE ACCESS TO IT.
( Louis XV had the same opinion of another great french invention called "Encyclopedie"...)

3.- THEN WHO IS GOING TO BUY MY BOOKS...
( All say they live from the "poor profesor" university income, all claim to loose money on the CR's, so...)


The reality is that CR means POWER & MONEY

They charge for the studio, incluiding it or even publishing, so they are getting MONEY.
they are the only option to include a work, that means POWER and it means MONEY.

And you Know:

MONEY MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND AND POWER IS THE OIL TO ROLL IT SOFTER