Gransnet forums


Fake or Fortune

(22 Posts)
MiceElf Sun 23-Sep-12 20:54:48

I've just watched this on BBC 1. It concerned the authentication of three paintings in the National Museum of Wales which were purportedly by Turner. They were described as fakes in the 50s, it seems partly because they came from the house of his landlady / mistress and thus were suspect. Eventually, after extensive fascinating scientific procedures it has been decided that they are in fact by Turner.

But my question is this. The paintings are the same. Are they brilliant pictures or are they not. Does knowing who painted them change our perception of their value (and not just in monetary terms) and why does knowing that a 'famous' artist painted a picture make it more worthy of attention.

Greatnan Sun 23-Sep-12 21:01:24

I have often asked myself the same question. I know that many famous paintings are bought just for their investment value, with no appreciation of the work at all.

annodomini Sun 23-Sep-12 21:18:58

Am I wrong to have reproductions of Van Gogh and Cezanne paintings on my walls? I know certain people who would have nothing but originals - obviously not by famous impressionists! - rather than stoop to reproductions.

NfkDumpling Sun 23-Sep-12 21:24:57

I seem to remember seeing in a small north Spain art gallery a 'picture' by Picasso. It's a straight horizontal pencil line. Only a few inces. But he signed it. And that made it valuable.

NfkDumpling Sun 23-Sep-12 21:26:09

I've invented a new measurement - it was about 4 inches!

PRINTMISS Mon 24-Sep-12 07:41:37

I too have often wondered about the 'value' of paintings. I can appreciate the skill of the artist to produce such lovely work for us all to appreciate - but 'value' - who decides? only those who have enough money to hike the price - the true value is in the enjoyment we get from admiring the work. What annoyed me most about last nights programme was the awful stigma attached to the paintings in question, because they had been the property of Turner's landlady/mistress, an affair which was kept very quiet. I do very much enjoy this programme, it keeps things very basic, and the technology emplyed to discover various aspects of the paintings is intriguing.

Greatnan Mon 24-Sep-12 08:13:30

If the morals of every successful artist or writer were taken into account, we wouldn't have much of their work left!

absentgrana Mon 24-Sep-12 08:48:09

The monetary and, perhaps, other kinds of value of a painting is affected by its being attributable to a particular artist. This is even true with a not-so-good painting by someone famous usually being "worth" more than a superb painting by school of the same artist. However there are anomalies. For example, people pay huge sums of money for a genuine Hans Meegeren fake. grin

Humbertbear Mon 24-Sep-12 09:06:12

I often ponder on this question. How can a painting be worth millions one day and thousands on the next? The picture in my house that I value the most is a large framed print that has been in every bedroom I have had since I was given it at the age of 12. I think the answer is that a painting is worth as much as anyone is prepared to pay for it and their judgement is always based on how attractive it is.

absentgrana Mon 24-Sep-12 09:16:21

Humbertbear I think quoting Oscar is appropriate when considering investment in art: a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

Bags Mon 24-Sep-12 09:32:32

I don't think we can judge Turner's "morals". We don't know the full story.

Re what things are worth, I like my father's explanation: a thing is 'worth', in purely monetary terms, whatever you can get some sucker to pay, which has nothing to do with its emotional value or its value to society.

Some of the drawings I value the most are the ones done by my kids. Monetary value, zilch. Value to me: Priceless.

jennyjay Wed 10-Apr-13 15:58:20

I often wonder who is responsible for the 'value' of art, just seeing works go for hundreds of thousands, and yet in my local picture and frame shop I can find amazing local talent asking for next to nothing.

I suppose everything is worth what someone is willing to pay, but i just wonder where and how these insane price brackets start...

Eloethan Wed 10-Apr-13 16:57:18


On a slightly different tack..... I know it's thought to be rather philistine and unsophisticated to scoff at conceptual art but I had to laugh when a few years ago, in Tate Britain, a plastic bag full of discarded paper, which was part of a work that was said to demonstrate the "finite existence" of art, was thrown away by a cleaner. Job done!

Nelliemoser Wed 10-Apr-13 23:06:12

Miceelf I have exactly the same reaction to this question.

If experts can be fooled for years about who painted it then it is probably worth the money whoever actually painted it. The skill levels are surely the same.

I cannot cope with these big canvasses with just two colours painted across them being worth Thousands (now millions.) In my philistine opinion its the art world taking the P***!

vampirequeen Wed 10-Apr-13 23:33:43

It's a case of the emperor's new clothes. Once the experts have declared something to be special or if it's by an established artist people daren't say the work is rubbish or they don't like it for fear of being declared a philistine with no understanding or taste.

absent Thu 11-Apr-13 07:31:00

I rather like this story. Picasso wanted a particular kind of cupboard constructed but wasn't explaining it clearly enough to the joiner so he grabbed a piece of paper and sketched his requirements. When he asked the joiner how much it would cost, the response was "Nothing – if you sign this", as he waved the piece of paper.

If the story isn't true, it ought to be. smile

sunflowersuffolk Thu 11-Apr-13 08:36:51

I'm sure there were (and still are) quite a few very gifted artists working away in obscurity, producing beautiful stunning pictures on a par with the famous artists, and worthy of being displayed in the famous galleries.

However they have not been lucky enough to be "discovered" and made fashionable and sought after, so their work probably was eventually destroyed.

It's the same with music, there are any number of talented people just making music locally and never getting the big break. Often actually much more talented musically than some who get into the charts.

It's sad that many paintings are bought for investment purposes and locked away and not enjoyed. I'm sure the artist wouldn't have wanted that.

I love the Impressionists myself, and am happy to have a good print on my wall. Equally if I found an original painting I could afford, in the same style, by an unknown artists, and I liked it - I'd have that too.

FlicketyB Thu 11-Apr-13 14:08:30

No artist consistently produces work of the highest quality. Turner, Picasso etc etc all had their off days, but in the past I suspect because art had less monetary value, poor works were discarded. Now celebrity culture means anything a famous artist has drawn has monetary value.

I recently saw the newly discovered Van Dyck portrait at the Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle. To be perfectly honest I thought the quality was poor, not a great portrait, which is probable why it had drifted into insignificance in the years since it was painted.

The same applies to poetry, which I read, if you get an anthology of one poet's verses and try to read all it will soon be found that all the great poets, unless they were very self disciplined and regularly self edited placed their pearls among an awful lot turgid rhymes.

jeanie99 Sun 28-Apr-13 12:21:59

The market creates the value of painting usually of popular dead artists, it's a business like any other.

Most people can't buy into this and purchase copies of originals, I personally just buy a copy of a painting that I love and not who painted it.

I have some wonderful copies of photographs.

janeainsworth Sun 28-Apr-13 18:28:29

I enjoy looking at photographs too Jeannie and intend to see this exhibition when I'm in London next week
and this one

harrigran Sun 28-Apr-13 19:31:10

I also enjoy looking at photographs. I have a Don McCullin book of black and white photographs.

janeainsworth Sun 28-Apr-13 19:33:35

Harri look at the Chris Killip link above if you haven't done so - they are of the North-East in the Fifties and Sixties.