The Forensic Eye: Find your Inner Connoisseur – Thursday 7th October 2021

The Forensic Eye: Find your Inner Connoisseur by Chantal Brotherton-Ratcliffe

How do dealers, auctioneers and museum staff determine whether a piece is by one painter or another? What role does the signature play, and what are the key clues to look for when deciding who painted the picture?

Artists before the 18th century usually worked with a number of assistants around them, who were trained to reproduce the style of the master as closely as possible. How can we study these workshop productions, distinguishing between master and pupil, master and copyists? In this lecture, we consider clues, weigh up their relative usefulness, and learn some of the tricks of the connoisseur. The lecture ends with a chance to try out your skills, identifying artists in “spot the artist”.

Chantal Brotherton-Ratcliffe

MA in History of Art from Edinburgh, PhD from the Warburg Institute, London University. With 40 years’ experience as a lecturer, Chantal has taught at Sotheby’s Institute of Art on the MA in Fine and Decorative Arts since 1989, and as a freelance lecturer for a number of societies in London, Italy and America. Having also trained as a paintings conservator, she brings an understanding of the making and the physical painting to her lectures and study sessions.