Certificado de Autenticidad de Obras de Arte en el 2020

How to Certify the Authenticity of a Work of Art?

Although there is no specific reference in our legislation to the requirement of certificates of authenticity in works of art , the truth is that their existence makes life easier for both the artist and the potential buyer of the work.

This is so because the certification that a work of art is authentic, that is, it is from the author who claims to be, is essential to set its price .

What is a Certificate of Authenticity for Works of Art?

And what use is a certificate of authenticity in works of art? The idea by which these certificates are made is to describe in the best possible way all the characteristics of a work, not only to dictate the price , but also to have something to hold on to in case of suspected counterfeiting .

Nowadays, there is an increasing market for counterfeiting , and having a document detailing each of the physical and documentary details of the work in detail is the way to fight it.

Certificate Data


  • Regarding the work itself : a detailed description of it, its title , its artistic technique and the materials that have been used, the date and the place where it was created. In addition, it is necessary to add a quality photograph of the artwork in order to have a visual comparison.
  • Regarding the author:  his real name and his stage name in case there is a difference, his artistic career (life, beginning of his career, studies and training in this regard, experience), his contact details, and also his signature in case he is alive.
  • Regarding the possibility of it being a multiple work:  that is, that it can be reproduced a certain number of times, it will be necessary to give the information of the number of the specific copy in hand and the number of existing reproductions , the date of the edition and the personal data of those who have made the edition. It is also common to ask for proof that the reproductive instrument of the work has been destroyed once all the copies that were established have been made.


These certificates of authenticity works of art are usually made in art auction houses , museums or art galleries , and the people who make them must be authorized experts , who are commonly called art experts. Experts in graphology with experience and verified qualifications such as the Spanish graphology association is one of the safest and most reputable options for such important certificates, even more so in the case of valuables.


What differentiates some certificates of authenticity of works of art from others is the format in which they are presented. Although depending on the artistic institutions , some prefer or make one type compulsory over another, the truth is that you can find these three types:

  1. The authenticity sticker . This format consists of an adhesive paper to the back of the work of art (especially used in paintings that are framed) where all the data we talked about earlier is described. The positive part of the sticker is that it is difficult to lose, as it is always attached to the work.
  2. The document in folios . The data it offers are the same as those on the sticker, perhaps more developed, but it is simply printed on paper and goes with the artwork , for example, in the box where it is usually kept.
  3. A seal of authenticity. It should be possible to add the maximum possible data : title, author, year, artistic technique … etcetera. The works of art that are authenticated by this type of certificate usually carry it, in the case of painting, on the back of the canvas, covered later by the frame. To see it, it will be necessary to remove the work from the frame.

Although these are the three most common physical formats of certificates of authenticity of work of art , the truth is that it is highly recommended, both for the artist and for the artistic institution that conserves a work, to have these certificates scanned and to be able to keep a copy online .

Are there different certificates of authenticity of works of art according to the artistic discipline?

The artistic disciplines are different techniques that exist in creating works of art. Although the Contemporary Age has brought us new forms and styles such as performance , or ephemeral art displays , the classic disciplines are: painting, sculpture, architecture, music, dance, cinema, literature and theater .

Based on the certificates of authenticity of a work of art from the most tangible artistic disciplines, that is, painting and sculpture , there are no specific types of certificates for each of them, although there are characteristics derived from logic: a certificate in Seal format or sticker format does not make sense in a sculpture , since there is no back part that is not part of the work, for example. In addition, in the certificates of authenticity of the sculptures , the weight of the sculpture must also be added as essential data . In the case of painting , it will be more important to provide the measurements (with and without a frame) .


With the advances of the Internet, today it is very easy to be able to make a certificate of authenticity of a work of art with just a few clicks . Whether it is the author himself , the gallery that represents him or the museum that has bought and received his work, it is easy to be able to do it almost automatically.

One very important thing to keep in mind to take advantage of all the advantages of taking the certificate in online format is traceability , which is the inclusion of the work of art in a general database . For this reason, the place where a person makes the certificate of authenticity of a work of art online must offer a QR code , that is, a way to save it in a database cloud and not be confused with any other.

On platforms where certificates of authenticity of works of art are made online , a distinction is usually made between artists who are beginning to create, more established artists in the artistic circuit.