||"Computers are useless.
They can only give you answers."
This web site by its very nature requires the
use of graphics to display painting images, forensic findings and data presentation. Some
of the text is displayed over graphic for the sake of better explanation. Since contrast
is required to make the text readable, if your browser has the image option turned off,
the text may be invisible on the default page colour. Below is a summary of the
introduction page at veritus.org.
Veritus Ltd., the world leader in digital verification, is
now publishing electronically the results of many years of research into Old Master
paintings. The information published at this site is an abbreviated form of the
information that will be published in several forthcoming Catalogue Raisonnés and
reference works. The complete Catalogue Raisonnés and reference works will be available
in both traditional print media as well as in the new DVD format. The Catalogue Raisonnés
will include more extensive findings, provenance and analysis than are available at this
Veritus employs modern digital technologies to verify the authorship of oil
paintings from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries. It has been clear to art
historians and scholars of this generation that questionable Old Master art attributions
have reached scandalous proportions. The main reason for this deluge of inaccurate
attributions is that attributions were based on the subjective opinions of self-appointed
experts rather than on technical findings and facts. The methodology used by many of these
self-appointed experts to determine attributions was in essence the same methodology used
for gambling in roulette. The key difference being the expert places his bet and it is the
buyer who takes the chance.
With the purpose of providing accurate attribution resource material,
Veritus is sponsoring several artist research committees. These committees utilise the
latest in digital verification technologies to determine accurate attributions for
artists long dead and to eliminate human error, deception and bias in determining
The first committee formed by Veritus was the Caravaggio
Research Committee. The results of the committee research provided some surprises.
Only sixty percent of the paintings previously published by various experts as the works
of Michelangelo da Caravaggio were confirmed as being of his hand. Most of the other forty
percent were confirmed to be the works of other artists who merely painted in the style of
Caravaggio. An online version of the Catalogue Raisonné may be viewed at this web site in
the artist section.
However, attribution problems with the Italian artists did not reach the
scandalous levels of the misattributions that occurred with Northern European artists. The
actual authorship of paintings by the most important of the Northern European artists were
lost in a veritable blizzard of false and dubious attributions. The Veritus sponsored Rembrandt Research Committee has already posted its
findings. Only a small percentage of the paintings traditionally attributed to the hand of
Rembrandt van Rijn are actually by his hand. The vast majority of paintings previously
attributed to Rembrandt are either studio collaborations or student paintings. An online
version of the Catalogue Raisonné may be viewed at this web site in the artist section.
Research Committees were also formed for the artists Rubens, Goya, Van Dyck,
El Greco and Raphael. These artists were chosen as it is readily acknowledged that serious
attribution problems exist with these artists. Preliminary data for these artists may be
found in the artist section of this web site. Many of the paintings traditionally
attributed to these artists are works from students, studios and followers. This
underscores the problem of using subjective and often wildly optimistic opinions to
establish values of multimillion dollar purchases.
The directors of Veritus are confident that the use of forensic evidence and
twenty-first century technologies will become the 'de facto
standard' for all Old Master attributions. Reliable and repeatable attributions based upon
modern technology eliminate human errors and bias, which account for the largest source of
verification problems. Veritus attributions are based upon fact, not upon dubious
circumstantial evidence, subjective opinion or certain mystical feelings. No other method
of verification can provide the level of security or confidence for the collector,
the scholar or museum curators. Digital verifications are clearly the standard of the
future. It is no longer necessary to fall prey to the whims of a self-appointed or
Until recently, fine art attribution was the only multimillion-dollar
business in the world that did not depend upon digital technology to provide verification
of property. Veritus digital attributions are already in use for cases of insurance fraud.
Insurance companies no longer have to face risks of fraud involving multimillion-dollar
policies on paintings worth only a few thousand dollars. Veritus certificates are being
requested as forensic evidence in legal cases involving fraudulent misattribution. Several
banks have made a digital verification certificate a necessity prior to the approval of a
loan for the purchase of certain art works. No serious collector should purchase a
painting without verifying the authenticity using digital technology.
Information concerning the methodology, the technologies and their
limitations are highlighted in the Technology Core Area of this
site. Also, the method of data presentation is
illustrated. It will be very difficult to examine the data presented with a text only
browser and it may result in a false impression of the results since some of the
explanations and data will be invisible to the viewer. It is strongly suggested that the
first time viewer follow these links with a image enabled browser prior to examining the
results of the different artist research committees. Without a basic understanding of
limitations and data presentation, it is impossible to receive an accurate impression of
the results of these findings.
This site is extensive and contains several hundred pages
of data research and explanation. It is organised around five core areas to provide for
simple navigation of the large volume of pages available to the researcher or casual