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Optical Microscopy

 One of the most reliable signs to distinguish antique from recent production, is given by the network of cracks that develops over time on the paint layer.

In oil paintings cracks usually develops after 60 to 120 years and usually make their first appearance in the whites.

Mineral pigments used until the beginning of the XIX century were obtained by hand grounding metal oxydes and minerals in general. Thus Old Masters pigments are characterized by the inclusion of small grains. Indeed since the colour's hiding power is inversely proportional to the size of pigment's grains, in modern colours grains are almost invisible.

 


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A New Alternative Asset Class

The main attraction of the art market and the prime reason for its resurgence as an investment is its low correlation with other financial assets. 

Recent research by Barclays Capital and The Economist Magazine indicates that art has outperformed both equities and property over both short and long periods of time, demonstrating that art has emerged as a viable and attractive asset class.

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