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Guest Lectures on Modern Art Forgery and the Bolognese Manuscript

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1070 Wien
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Lectures by Jilleen Nadolny and Lara Broecke.

Jilleen Nadolny: Modern Art Forgery – Beltracchi and beyond

In the 21 st century, the announcement of an art forgery scandal in the media is generally expressed by a well-worn set of clichés, often portraying the forger as a clever rogue, who tricks greedy collectors, causing no real harm. The history of art forgery is rarely viewed in a historical sense and individual cases are forgotten as quickly as they arise. This is regrettable as art forgery is a practice with a long history that has had, and continues to have, a very significant impact on the art market, an impact that endangers the serious study of the artists commonly forged. Knowledge of its history and tropes can make us better able to spot new forgeries when they arise.

While the case of Wolfgang Beltracchi is one of the most spectacular in recent times, in terms of approach and techniques, it conforms to the “typical” practice of art forgers.  This talk will examine the case in a wider context, to explore why the historical context matters, and to suggest challenges and solutions for forgery detection in the future, with a focus on the need for more rigorous scientific investigation.

The speaker, Dr Jilleen Nadolny, is the Principal Investigator for Art Analysis & Research (AA&R), London, a private art laboratory providing analytical services to the art community worldwide. AA&R provided the evidence that first identified Beltracchi’s work, allowing for his successful prosecution. In this role, she has had the opportunity to examine many of the most sophisticated forgeries circulated in the art market and has published extensively on the history of the forgery of paintings.

Jilleen Nadolny , MA in History of Art and Art Conservation from Pratt Institute, New York, PhD in Technical Art History from the Courtauld Institute, London. Since 2010, she has been working for Art Analysis and Research (London), a company specialized in the technical investigations of paintings. Her research and publications focus on art technology of paintings and written sources for the same, the history of scientific analysis of works of art, the reception of scientific techniques and material studies within the field of art history, art forgery and conservation history and ethics. In her presentation, she will give some insight into her research on modern art forgeries.

Lara Broecke: On the Trail of Lost Ingredients: The Bolognese Manuscript

This lecture addresses the problem of words in source manuscripts whose meanings have been lost through time and translation. Using examples from the Bolognese Manuscript, dated to the 15th century and written in Italian and Latin, the author uses case studies to exemplify the use of secondary literature, dictionaries and comparative evidence from within the manuscript itself for the identification of materials. The author concludes that lost meanings can very often be rediscovered, but that a rigorous approach is necessary in order to achieve this.

Lara Broecke , MA in Classics and History of Art from the University of Oxford, MA in conservation of easel paintings from the Hamilton Kerr Institute, Cambridge. In 2015, her annotated translation and transcription of Cennino Cennini's Il libro dell'arte was published by Archetype. In her presentation, Lara Broecke will share her ongoing translation of the Bolognese Manuscript.