forgery

Early History

Art falsification and forgery are ancient endeavors, but they were not so widely practiced before the collection of antiques came into vogue (see antique collecting) or before the cult of artistic personalities developed. Still, many minor Greek sculptors carved the signatures of Phidias and Praxiteles into their works that were made for export to Roman collectors. During the Renaissance Michelangelo himself, according to Vasari, carved a marble cupid, buried it for a time to give it an antique look, and sold it as an ancient sculpture. Ghiberti produced ancient-looking Greek and Roman medals in imitation of aesthetic styles he admired.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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