Digital X-Ray Art Authentication

By Nathan Wayne

You can purchase a Picasso replica painting off Amazon for $5, so how do you know if the $50 Million piece of original artwork hanging on your wall is really authentic? The solution is digital x-ray art authentication.

Art authentication is the process of scientifically testing art pieces using various methods. These methods include carbon dating, examining under digital microscopes, and digital x-ray. These methods are similar to identifying fingerprints because there are noticeably different traits in each painting. Each artist has their own painting technique and style.

Willick Engineering is a team of experts in digital x-ray imaging technology involved in several projects related to art authentication. They have recently investigated the authenticity of an alleged Picasso. An art investor wanted assurance of his purchase, so the artwork was brought to Willick Engineering for digital X-Ray investigation. What was discovered gave clues to the experts that helped determine whether or not this could have been attributed to Picasso.

Using high resolution digital x-ray imaging technology (DÜRR HDCR35 Computed Radiography System), Willick Engineering was able to reveal the hidden painting behind the painting. Can you tell what it is? Sometimes x-ray images aren’t that obvious but this is an exception. Doesn’t that look like the fronds of a pineapple, what about those juicy apples? It could be a bowl of fruit, but there is no doubt something there. Does this prove the alleged Picasso’s authenticity. Well, we can see in his other styles that fruit bowls are prominent. So this could very well be his work of art.

Many of us dropped our jaws when Leonardo Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi sold at an auction for $450,350,000. Why would someone pay this much for something that was painted hundreds of years ago? It is because of his style. In certain paintings that have peaceful depictions, what lay behind is very dark. For example, upon x-ray examinations, a battle scene with horses and swords drawn was found behind Leonardo’s Adoration Of The Magi. Also, the type of pigment used in his paint was lapis lazuli (worth more than gold at the time) and was found using microscopic sampling.

Artwork is unique, but the ever-growing mind of man never has a large enough challenge, so technology must advance to the advanced skills of criminal masterminds.

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