Russian Avant Garde Research Project – Scientific Art Analysis of works by Goncharova and Larionov
A newly founded charity, the Russian Avant Garde Research Project (RARP; www.rarp.org.uk), is undertaking support of a series of projects to advance the wider understanding of the Russian avant garde through the application of different varieties of scientific, art technological and art historical research. A recently launched effort is focused on the important Russian avant garde artists Natalia Goncharova and Mikhail Larionov, whose oeuvres are known to be infiltrated by forgeries. Its goal is to help enhance scholarly insight by multiple means, and in so doing, alleviate the repercussions to the authentic works of the Russian avant garde.
This ground-breaking project is a collaboration between the leading scientific art analysis firm Art Analysis & Research and the Museum Ludwig (Cologne; http://www.museum-ludwig.de/en.html). The Museum Ludwig has extraordinary holdings of the Russian avant garde; the museum’s fourteen paintings by Natalia Goncharova and Mikhail Larionov, dating from 1905-1916, will serve as the basis for the study. They will be examined with a spectrum of advanced technologies and proven analytical methods in order to compile a robust technical catalogue raisonné for the paintings of the two artists, thus allowing science and technology to be wielded in the service of art history. This particular combination of advanced imaging, materials analysis, data analytics, and technical art history is the protocol used by Art Analysis & Research, who have applied it with success in the service of clients as diverse as museums, various sectors of the art market and artists’ foundations.
We have had considerable success in both authentication and attribution studies. AA&R has had key roles in identifying the Beltracchi forgeries and other fakes, to internationally important discoveries of paintings by Rubens, Rembrandt, Velázquez, Watteau and Kandinsky amongst others
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