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Q: painting ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: painting
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Visual Arts
Asked by: sparkyn-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 17 Oct 2002 07:09 PDT
Expires: 16 Nov 2002 06:09 PST
Question ID: 77718
Hi I have a painting signed pacasso it came from the home of an
elderly lady who left her estste to her church. The women of her
church opened her home to the public and sold her things. There were
some paintings in the attic they were wrapped in a brown paper this
one has the 40-7 on the back of this brown paper.It looks to me like a
spanish woman and its just from the shoulders up She has a lace scarf
on her head she looks like maybe she is praying .It is mostly blue
with some red and yellow.The background is just color no design.I know
most the time things like this our not of any value.But I hate the
thought that just with even the smallest chance I put in the trash a
painting by such a man.I also don't have a lot of money to spend to
pay someone to look at it.Is there any way you can maybe tell me
somthing to look for with this painting that might help me to decide
what to do.I just hate the idea I might put such history in the
trash.Thank You for any advice you might have.And have a great
Subject: Re: painting
Answered By: byrd-ga on 17 Oct 2002 08:51 PDT
Hi Sparkyn,

I can certainly understand your not wanting to discard the painting if
there’s a remote chance it might actually be by a master like Picasso.
 What fun to make such a discovery!

However, if you’re unable/unwilling to pay for an expert appraisal at
this time, then you’re going to have to likely make up for the dollars
with your personal time and effort.   Fortunately, there are some
resources available for you to use if you’d like to try to search for
and identify this painting on your own.  Do bear in mind that very
often unknown works by well-known artists can turn up, in which case
this particular painting, even if it is a Picasso, may not be
catalogued anywhere.  (An example would be the recently discovered
design drawings for a lamp base by Leonardo da Vinci found in a box of
miscellany in a dusty museum attic.)  And, if after searching and
examination of the painting, you believe there is strong evidence that
it may actually be a Picasso, then your only recourse for definitive
authentication will still be examination and appraisal by an expert.

To begin with, you’re going to have to educate yourself intensively on
art and Picasso's art in particular: how to tell a painting from a
print or lithograph; how to distinguish real from fake, original from
copy; who was Picasso, what were his periods, styles, colors, and
techniques; what particular features set apart a Picasso from another
artist.  For example, his Cubist period, with which a lot of people
are familiar, is just one part of the totality of his work.

So okay, all the above stated, here are some sources you can browse on
your own to start:

A comprehensive research guide is available at this site:

Here is an excellent article of advice regarding artwork and its
authenticity or lack thereof:

This site has an analysis on “Identifying the Real Thing,” with a
bibliography for further reading:

In addition, there are several sources with information about and/or
links to information about Picasso in particular:

This site provides links to images and descriptions of all the Picasso
works in online exhibits (browse them to see if any are similar and/or
to get a feel for the styles, colors and composition of Picasso’s

Along the same lines, here’s a link to a syllabus for an art
appreciation course on Picasso.  Although it’d be best to actually
take the course, even the syllabus has helpful advice, and it also has
links to many helpful sources and advice on how to recognize a Picasso

And another syllabus is found here:

If you’d like to pick up one or a few books on the subject, here are
links to several good books on art identification and on Picasso at

“Exhibiting Authenticity,” by David Phillips:
“Fine Art: Identification and Price Guide.” by Susan Theran:

“The Ultimate Picasso,” by Brigitte Leal:
“Picasso: Style and Meaning,” by Elizabeth Cowling

Finally, should you decide you’d rather get an appraisal after all,
here are links to several sites where you can search for experts:

Online and worldwide appraisal service:
Online art appraisal:
How to evaluate an art appraisal:
“World Wide Art Resources” page of links:

Search terms I used:

art identification fake real original copy
picasso p*casso
identify picasso
art appraisal 
art authentication

In summary, the best advice I’d offer you is to take your time and
have some fun.  After all, the painting was there for a long time, 
and it’s not going anywhere now.  There’s no rush.  At best you’ll
find yourself in possession of a valuable painting by a recognized
master.  At worst you’ll learn a lot about a subject you didn’t know
very well before.

Best of luck,
Subject: Re: painting
From: angy-ga on 17 Oct 2002 20:43 PDT
The numbers 40 7 on the back may mean it is number 7 of a limited run
of 40 prints or lithographs.

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