1rst Online Art Magazine
Unique: Expertises of
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"Arts - Antiques - Bargains"
Stolen Works of Art
Photofit-identikit of stolen researched paintings
Art & Science on Internet
French furniture: Styles
Decorations of furniture / Materials
Stamps of Cabinet-makers masters at the XVth century and their typical furniture


The PRAL system,unique in the world, is negotiable with a utilization licence.The software is delivered with a complete record which contains:
- An illustrated demonstration of the directions for use
- A listing of the painters technics:materials,colors,pigments in the periods: Italian Renaissance, flemish and dutsch XVIIIth century, French XVIIIth et XIXth centuries, Impressionist's period.
Art's history pages are included to give the essential dates of the pictorial creation.
The PRAL system is an indispensable tool for specialists in stolen-art search (Insurance Companies in particular).It is usefull for the study of some paintings and for the copyists work.
The PRAL system is an international registered trade mark.It has been created by a french expert in paintings,specialized in the copy detection,using radiology and magnetic waves methods..
Painting stolen on november 3rd 1999
See the service "works andobjects of art stolen- disappeared "
Identikit picture of the painting stolen on the 11/3/99
realized with the PRAL system under the direction of a french expert in ancient paintings.

After being reinsert fraudulently in the commercial trade, this stolen painting had suffered alterations in order to make it unrecognizable and to attribute it more value. Taking advantage of a genuine base - oak pannel of the XVIIth century , pictorial material of the period - the specialized forger will preserve the main part of the original work , executing some repaints on the face which look like rembrandt and the headdress. Details in the dress , buttons notably will be removed.
The forger specialized in signatures intervenes then to place a signature of Rembrandt in the 1634-1635's , date of the stolen painting.
The forger recovers then the repaints with a plumb-base varnish (forbidden in France), which resists to the investigative ultraviolet rays of the experts' Wood lights , and to the X-rays.


Jean-Baptiste Camille COROT "Le Chemin de Sèvres"
This painting has been stolen en France at the Louvre on May 3rd 1998. Oil on linen. Dim. 34cm x 49cm. Made in 1855.

The robbery seems to be done by order from a receiver to sell it on the stolen art market.Before being sold, the painting may have some changes in order to make it unrecognizable, particularly in case of comparison with pictures of the original painting.

EXOLART presents the PRAL System which provides photo-fit identikits of stolen paintings as it could be after changes. Photo-fit identikits permits to alert interested peoples and to show that quite any change can be done to make the resale easier. The forgers may use a lead glaze to obstruct the ultraviolet light of the Wood lamps which are often used by specialists in stolen art.Even a radiography could be enable to tell the truth.

Pierre-Auguste RENOIR - 1841-1919 - «Jeunes Femmes à la campagne»1916.
Oil on linen.Signed on the right corner..
Dimensions: heigth 0,42 - width 0,52 cm

Painting stolen on March 13th of 1981 at the Bagnols sur Cèze Museum
The photo-fit below of a Renoir allows to imagin how can the painting look like after some changes and thanks to that being resold anywhere the world.


In order to be resold in the legal market the paintings must be unrecognizable.Here are represented three pictures which show three different kind of changes possible.
The PRAL System permits you to see the probables "new look" of the stolen Renoir's painting.

1rst proposition
2nd proposition
3rd proposition
4th proposition

The Auguste RENOIR's « Jeunes Femmes à la Campagne » stolen in France,in the Bagnols sur Cèze Museum (Gard) in March 1981 has an important value on the Art market.Made in 1916, three years before the master's death,this painting has all the characteristics of the Impressionism,totaly disconnected of academical rules.The dark definite outlines are deleted to suggest the future photographic fuzziness. The back is white unlike the usual brown-red tints,which permits to collect a maximum light.This composition must be seen from a good distance to obtain this feeling of life and movement.It is amazing to see in a computer world as nowadays that Renoir wanted to work with stippled effects on a brush-skimed linen,sometimes rubbed with a rag to make the linen woof appear. Some experts said that was due to a wrong use of the painting but the real resolution of Renoir is unquestionable.The strokes are made with an extraordinary precision despite the master's rheumatism arthritis. The master has made the same colour-mixing which are superposed or very thin to give a watercolor effect.
The 1916 linen, built in a low perspective which shows a swimming woman getting out from a river, brings back his journey at the Alte Pinakother in Munich in 1910, confirming his choice of female models in the style of Rubens, thickset and sensual women with venusian faces,as he started to copy it in 1860.
The swimming woman is the principal character,the two other models, suited, give the contrast wanted by Renoir.
To do this painting, RENOIR used brushs in pig hairs, martin hairs paintbrushs and rags.His colors: white lead, chrome yellow, Napoli yellow, cobalt and ultramarine blue and vermilion .

Conditions of robbery: burglary. It seems to be an order from a receiver specialized in the stolen art selling.
Possible customers: collectors, dealers, Museums or Art Fondations from little patrimony country or which do not have an important history.

Forger's work:
The changes that the forger do musn't depreciate the painting's value.It's even the contrary.The forger's aim is to make everybody thinking that the modified painting is an original from the same period.The forger is very well documented and is able to to reproduce many master's technics.He can add few details or more important designs.At the end he recovers the painting with lead glaze and thanks to that ultraviolet test and radiology should not show any defect.
Many changes are possible :

1- some details may be deleted or added.The work is easier when the forger use a guide marks stencil.
The painting could be sold as a second original or like a non listed master's piece.Le tableau sera alors vendu comme « second » original ou oeuvre non encore répertoriée de la même période.
2- Radical changes in the background, or on the characters (suited or nude).
3- The linen may be re-mounted in order to mask the back of the linen which could be recognized.
The original frame can also be transformed to mask some particular marks like ink (blue or purple Waterman ink) or shocks .
For real forgers there's no real difficulties to find a subject; as Renoir used to say : " I may have paint all my life the same three or four pictures! ".



 The study of such paintings needs the use of the same colors that Renoir used, which can be recomposed by the PRAL System :

- White lead (lead carbonate )
- Napoli yellow(lead antimoniate )
- Chrome yellow (clear and dark) (lead chromosulfate ) (lead chromate )
- Yellow ocher (iron oxide , aluminium oxide...)
- Madder red
- Emerald green (hydrated chromium oxide)
- Vermilion(mercury sulfure)
- Cobalt blue (cobalt aluminium oxide)


Study of the find again picture

If the stolen painting is find again an ultraviolet test should be done. If the result is negative (in deed, the forger may have used a lead glaze to obstruct the test) an analysis of the components of the pictorial materials should reveal the same results than the usual components of the material used between 1915 and 1919 .
It should be also helpful to use radiography, even if there is no radiography of the original.

Renoir's technic is typical : characters are prioritary compared with the background fully illustrated with dense vegetation les personnages ont la priorité sur un décor prétexte de végétation foisonnante placé en épaisseur. The light is more visible with a kind of transparency on a very clear background.

The painting's theme is frequently used by painter of this period and especially by Renoir who did sometimes more than 30 drafts for each character.

Biography and Master's Technics
Données biographiques et techniques:

In 1887, RENOIR used to paint academical nudes, influenced by a trip in Italy.
In 1816, when the stolen painting was made, the strokes are faster than before, Renoir is touched by arthritis which give him pain in his wrists and in is hands.His palette is tied up to his thumb and he uses sometimes a rag to brush the linen and to lighten the background.


Send us :

- picture(s) of the work of art
- Dimensions (as precise as possible)
- Support : paper, pasteboard, metal plate, linen, wood plate
- Medium : oil, acrylic, other...
- Particular signs : repairs,other...

If you have in your possession an expertise file with : magnetical waves pictures, ultaviolet tests, infrared, radiography, pigment's analysis and electron macroscope exams send us a copy of them by post, telling us your name, adress, phone and fax to :
EXOLART -ag.Haton- 12 rue de la Buffa -F- 06000 Nice

The photo-fit identikit of stolen paintings give images of the possible look of the painting after changes.

Realized by paintings experts, photo-fits are made thanks to the knowledge of the master's technics and of the forger's capabilities.