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Title: Ekspertyza sygnatury malarskiej
Authors: Widła, Tadeusz
Keywords: grafologia; ekspertyza pisma ręcznego; identyfikacja pisma; ekspertyza malarska
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
Abstract: More and more frequently museum staff and art dealers turn to forensic examiners of documents for expert opinions on painters’ signatures with the aim of their authentication. But it has not been proven yet if the method of forensic analysis of documents is effective in such examinations and, more pertinently, if forensic handwriting analysis possesses proper tools to approach the handwriting characteristics of signatures on paintings. This book presents the results of empirical research conducted to answer these questions based on about 3000 signatures with unquestionable attribution to be found in 82 museum collections. The symptomatological analysis was applied to: • Features pertaining to the area of the inscription — the placement of the graphism (signature/date) on the surface of the painting, spacing between letters, spacing between words, spacing between lines, the slant of axes of letters and words as well as the form of angles between strokes, the sizes of characters, the proportions between their heights and the shapes formed by the contouring of extremities. • Descriptive features (construction features) which concern the shaping of characters — the connectedness between characters (the number of items created with one continuous movement of the writing tool), the forming of majuscule and minuscule, the rounding of tops and poligramms, the rounding of loops, the attachment of lateral elements to ovals and to vertical elements, the forming and placement of diacritical signs, etc. • Content and language features — the presence of mistakes in wording and spelling, the presence of foreign words and interferences of foreign languages due to the painter’s residence in areas these languages were spoken, and other linguistic phenomena. This analysis has shown that graphic features of the examined signatures are possible to approach and describe with the methods of forensic handwriting analysis. The results of symptomatological analysis and especially the possible ways of representing signature features have been presented in the book with the use of visual materials. It has also been concluded that further ways of examination of painting signatures may be conducted with the methods of the so-called technical forensic expertise of documents with the use of equipment available in forensic laboratories. It is possible then to establish the authorship of sample signatures with the methods devised by forensic handwriting experts; nevertheless, this is to be done with the introduction of appropriate and necessary modifications which take into consideration uncommon surfaces of writing, uncommon writing tools as well types of coating. The choice of method should show a preference towards the graphic-comparative method (graphic method) because science can vouch with its authority only for this method when properly applied. The examination should have the following stages: after collecting samples which allow for comparative investigation, it is necessary to distinguish (give a proper description of) the features representing the writing patterns and their natural variability typical for the author of the signatures under examination. With such data at one’s disposal, it is possible to commence the forensic handwriting analysis of the signature under examination. It is to be done with a special attention given to answering the question whether the signature exhibits the handwriting regularities attributed to the handwriting patterns present in the already authenticated signatures used for comparison. Only after the above stages of the method have been completed, will it be possible to draw reliable expert conclusions as to the authorship of the signature under scrutiny. Such conclusions will be able to gain similar trust to the trust bestowed on classical handwriting analyses. For the forensic handwriting expert, it should remain of no consequence whether the expertise has been commissioned by the courts of law for legal proceedings, by museums which wish to realise their buying policies, by business entities (for example, an auction house) or by private collectors. If the expert opinion is not to be used in legal proceedings, it then should as well not be limited in terms of the scope of its analysis and the application of tools. The advantages of the graphic-comparison method will only be revealed when it has been applied holistically. Should that not be the case, the value of the expert’s conclusions and identifications (their success and infallibility), even if the expert is a forensic handwriting expert, will not be greater than the opinion provided by a conservator-restorer or a style expert familiar with the handwriting and signing techniques of a given painter. The expertise advocated by the book will necessarily consume considerable amount of work and time, which means it will generate costs; just as expensive are forensic analyses of wills, anonymous letters and other documents. Without the application of this method, however, it will be impossible to amend the current state of affairs so critically described and commented on by journalists, and more importantly, by scientists and museum staff.
ISBN: 9788380129948
Appears in Collections:Książki/rozdziały (WPiA)

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