Radiocarbon dating and religion
One of those paintings, signed “Sarah Honn” and dated “May 5, 1866 AD,” imitates the American primitive folk art style and is entitled , (Fig. The painting was seized by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.This case study was thoroughly investigated previously and numerous telltale signs of forgery were identified (23).However, results on the canvas alone may be inconclusive, as canvas may have been reused by the artist himself as an economic measure or intentionally by a forger with the intent to deceive.The infamous Han Van Meegeren (1889–1947), who specialized in forging Vermeer paintings, is known to have scraped the paint off of older paintings to reuse the canvases to yield the illusion of a naturally aged painting substrate (16, 17).The triangle in continuous blue lines is a small extension of that loss to acquire a sample for the work reported here.If possible, conservators sample from existing losses or damages.Thus the additional dating of the paint reveals the forger’s scheme where the repainting of an appropriately aged canvas was used to convey the illusion of authenticity.
If possible, conservators sample from existing losses or damages. Interestingly, the resulting age range does not contradict the signed date of 1866, nor does it exclude a later creation date either.This approach provides relative age information only and thus may fail in proving a forgery.Radiocarbon (C) dating is an attractive alternative, as it delivers absolute ages with a definite time frame for the materials used.Similarly, Wolfgang Beltracchi, a 21st century forger, also bought his frames and supports at antique markets (18).
Thus, the art of deceiving by acquiring an older support is a common modus operandi among forgers to avoid anachronistic features and was already common practice before the development of C dating.
In the case of a painting, the typical supports made of textile, wood, parchment, or paper are sampled, as they usually offer sufficient material and can provide decisive evidence in authentication issues (13, 14).