Doubtful Origin

Copyright Infringement, Misattribution and Forgery

Part of Fondation Constant's mission is to protect the legacy of Constant Nieuwenhuys. The foundation is usually informed when works on the market are thought to be a copy, false or misattributed to Constant. Each situation has different implications.

First situation: Infringement on copyrights - an existing work of art is copied by someone, who, without prior permission of the copyright holder/Pictoright, reproduces the work and/or makes the work available to the public-with the artist’s name or his own name. This is considered a breach of or infringement on copyright and will therefore be handled by the organisation that handles the artist’s Intellectual Property rights.

Second situation: Misattribution - a work is mistakenly attributed to the artist. Even though there might not have been the intention to deceive, these works must be unveiled to avoid the illusion for owners or potential buyers that the work represents a certain value as if it were an authentic work from the artist.

Third situation: Forgery - a work of art is created with a deliberate intent to deceive. These works are usually presented falsely as a product of another time and/or artist. This could concern copies of existing works of the artist (falsification) or newly created works in the style of the artist as a consequence of which the work can be misattributed to the artist. Both situations are considered a forgery and a criminal act and will therefore be handled by the justice department and Pictoright.

The negative effects of these dealings have an impact both on individuals involved, the value of the works of the artist, and on the art market in general. Fondation Constant is supportive in the fight against these activities. We have close ties to both Pictoright, the Dutch Criminal Investigation Department for Art Related Crime and parties such as the Art Loss Register, who are all dedicated to eradicating  criminal activities from the art market.

On this page we will post information on the doubtful art works we encounter and where we have encountered them. To avoid law suits we will refrain from mentioning the specific parties involved.

Tips when buying art
- Ask for documentation on the work of art. Original works usually are obtainted through offical channels and come with invoices, catalogue/exhibition listings and are mentioned in art books.
- Ask for a provenance. Original works are usually easily traced back to their source, this list of previous owners is called a provenance. Original works of art come with a provenance.
-
Do a background check on the seller. Is the seller a well respected art gallery that is well known for selling the art of this artist?
- Do a google search on the prices. If the selling price seems too good to be true compared to works you find at the well renowned galleries, it probably is. However, above a certain price level most galleries do not make their prices public.
- If a work is sold as assigned to... instead of by... it usually means there is reasonable doubt about the work's origin.
- If buying online, check the Terms and Conditions of the online reseller. They might already indicate that they are not responsible of the authenticity of the works they offer!

These are some rules of thumb that should give you an indication of a works authenticity. If after this checklist, you still are unable to reach a conclusion, you can contact Fondation Constant for an assessment. Go to Certification, for more information on assessments.

Fondation Constant cannot be held responsible and/or liable for any damages, costs, expenses, loss or grievances incurred by publication or the use of the content published with regard to "Copyright Infringement, Misattribution and Forgery" on this website.
Fondation Constant will only publish information on such works if, after expert research with regard to the work, the case etc, Fondation Constant is of the opinion that such work is not authorised or authentic. However, these publications are to be considered the opinion of Fondation Constant only. Fondation Constant does not accept any liability for damages, costs, losses etc. arising from such publication.

Fondation Constant
False work

2017 Gouache on paper, 1960, signed and dated bottom right. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). It was presented to us by a collectionor who bought the work at an auctionhouse in Walldorf, Germany. The work seems to be part of a series of similar works that keep resurfacing in the market, see similar entrys on this page in 2005, 2012 and three in 2016.

False work

2017 Oil on canvas. Signed "Constant" bottom left, 1960. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). The work was offered for authentication by auctionhouse in Utrecht, Netherlands. The auctionhouse was informed of our opinion of the work. In 2017 the work was shown to us for authentication by a collectioner that bought the work at the auctionhouse mentioned above.

False

2016 Watercolor on paper. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). The work was submitted to us by the owner who had bought it at a small auctionhouse in Amsterdam in 2008. The owner has no intention of reselling the work as an authentic work by Constant (1920-2005).

False

2016 Signed and dated 1958 bottom right. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). The work was brought to our attention by a collector seeking an assessment. We have no idea of the whereabouts of this work.

False

2016 Oil on linnen, 1949, signed and dated top right. We have no reasons to assume this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). The work was presented to us by Christies for assessment. We have no information on the current whereabouts of the work.

False

2016 Watercolor and ink on paper, 1948, title bottom left, signed and dated bottom right. We have no reasons to assume this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). The work was brought to us by an art enthusiast, who had bought it on a flea market. He had had his doubts about the work and decided to ask the opninion of Fondation Constant. The work had come from the collection of painter Frese Jobst Heinrich. This painter had been known to make work in the style of other artists and sign his work under different names.

False

2016 Watercolor and ink on paper, 1952, signed and dated at the bottom. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). The work got offered to an auctionhouse in Leiden, who asked our opinion on the authentication of the work. We have no information on the current whereabouts of the work.

False

2016 Oil on canvas. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). The work was offered to the foundation for authentication by a collector from Brussels.

False

2016 Ink on paper, signed. We have no reasons to believe this work has been made by Constant (1920-2005). The work was offered for authentication by an auction hause in Danmark. We have no idea of the whereabouts of this work.

False

2016 Ink on paper, signed. We have no reasons to believe this work has been made by Constant (1920-2005). The work was offered for authentication by an auction hause in Danmark. We have no idea of the whereabouts of this work.

False

2016 Ink on paper, signed. We have no reasons to believe this work has been made by Constant (1920-2005). The work was offered for authentication by an auction hause in Danmark. We have no idea of the whereabouts of this work.

False

2016 Gouache on paper, 1960. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). A private collector send us the image. Is similar to a work of doubtful origin that was sold to an employee of a Dutch museum in 1999. In 2012 the museum offered that work to Fondation Constant for it's archives.

MIsattribution

2016 Mixed techniques on paper, signed CONSTANT Janvier 1940. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). Private owner from Aix-en-Provence, France.

False work

2016 Gouache on paper. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). The work appeared in the Cobra exhibition at Fondazione Roma Museo Palazzo Cipolla. In 2009 the work was auctioned in Copenhagen and in 2008 in Milan. We are uncertain whether the work is still on the market.

False work

2016 Gouache on paper. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). The work appeared in the Cobra exhibition at Fondazione Roma Museo Palazzo Cipolla. We are uncertain whether the work is still on the market.

Misattribution

2016 Oil on canvas. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). The work was offered to the foundation for authentication by a French collector, who had recently aquired the work.

False work

2016 Collage with watercolor and pencil. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). Bought by a private collector at an auction house in Deventer, the Netherlands

False work

2015 Drawing with pencil on paper, 1961, signed "Constant" bottom right. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). Has been offered twice at different auctions in 2015, once in Maastricht, the Netherlands and once on Artnet.com by an auctionhouse from Köln. When the auctionhouses/platform were informed of its status the work was withdrawn.

False work

2015 Oil and watercolor on canvas, 1953/1955, 60 x70 cm, signed "Constant" bottom right. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). Offered to Christie's by Scarabelli, Milan for the auction of July 26th, 2013. After authentication Christie's declined to take the work in. April 2015 it was offered to Bruun Rasmussen for auction, they also declined to take the work in for auction after authentication. We have no information of the whereabouts of the work at the moment.
Provenance: Galleria del Naviglio, Milan acquired from the Scarabelli by the family of the present owner.

False work

2015 Oil on cardboard, 1955, 60 x 79,5 cm, signed and dated "Constant '55" bottom right. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). Published in catalogue Auction of Art Contemporain on 31 March 2015 for Auction: Cornette de Saint-Cyr, Paris. The work was withdrawn after our notification. We have no information of the whereabouts of the work at the moment.

False work

2015 Oil paint on pressed plate, 1954, 33 x 55 cm, signed and dated "Constant '54" bottom right. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). Offered to Auctionata, Berlin for the March 30, 2015 auction. After authentication they declined to take the work in for auction. We have no information of the whereabouts of the work at the moment.

Misattribution: Camargue by Christian Constant

2013 Camargue, not dated, oil and sand on canvas, 46 x 33 cm. Misattribution. Sold on November 16th, 2013 at the French auction house De Baecque & associés in Lyon, France under the name 'Constant', a work from the French painter Christian Constant.

False work

2013 Fabeldier, 1948, oil and pencil on panel, 9,5 x 19 cm, signed and dated "Constant Nieuwenhuijs '48" upper right. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). Offered at Christies at the auction on July 26th, 2013. After authentication Christie's declined to take the work in. June 17, 2016 the work was offered again at an auction in the Netherlands.

False work

2013 Charcoal, ink and gouache on paper. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). Offered on Adams Amsterdam Auctions July 2013. After being informed Adams Amsterdam Auctions withdrew the drawing immediately. Provenance: Collection Jan Cremer. It is claimed that he got the drawing from Willelm Sandberg who claimed it was a Constant. There was no documentation of this transaction available.

False work

2013 Gouache. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). The work surfaced in Schimmert, Netherlands. The seller has been notified. As far as the foundation knows the work is still on the market.

False

2012 Gouche on paper, 1960. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). Surfaced in the depot of a Dutch museum. After it was identified the museum offered the work to Fondation Constant for it's archives. See also a similar work in 2016.

False work

2012 Construction. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). The work is a copy of Constant's Construction with transparent planes. The work was sold by an auction house in the Netherlands. The sale was reversed after authentication.

False work

2012 Watercolor. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). The work is a copy of Constant's watercolor La Mère Noël, 1983. The work was brought onto the market in 2004 by a doctor from Liege, who visited Constant's studio a year before. He received the book L'Atelier d'Amsterdam, in which the original work is published. Eventually Constant asked him to leave because he was taking works from works of art without permission. The work keeps resurfacing online and is offered to modern art dealers to this day. Pictures the doctor took that day in the studio are used to prove authenticity of the works.

False work

2012 Watercolor. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). It is a copy of Constant's watercolor La belle noiseuse, 1990. The work was bought at an auction house in Düsseldorf, Germany. After authentcation the auction house took the work back and redeemed the buyer.

False work

2012 Watercolor, signed and dated bottom right. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). The work was sold at an auction house in Middelburg, Netherlands. Nothing was done with the advice to take it off the market.

False work

2012 Watercolor, signed and dated bottom right. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). The work was offered at an auction house in the Netherlands. After authentication the work was still offered at the auction as assigned to Constant.

False work

2012 Sketchbook, signed. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). The sketchbook was brought to the foundation for an appraisal by an antique dealer. We are uncertain whether the sketchbook was taken off the market after the authentication.

False work

2012 Watercolor. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). The work is a copy of Constant's watercolor Le Criminel, 1987. The work was exhibited on the website of an art dealer. After several urgent requests by Pictoright the work was removed from the website. We are uncertain whether work was taken off the market.

Misattribution, painter: Christian Constant

2012 Oil on canvas. Misattribution. The Cobramuseum was requested to publish the work in a catalogue. Our research proved it to be a work from the French painter Christian Constant.

False work

2012 Oil on canvas. Misattribution. After we discovered about Christian Constant we discovered another work from his hand that was misattributed to Constant. The work Komposition was sold in 2007 at a Danish auction house. After that it has been offered on the website at said auction house but remained Bough In (unsold). The auction house was notified of the misattribution.

False work

2011 Watercolor, singed bottom right. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). The work resurfaces every now and then on online art auctions. So far it remains Bought in (unsold). At the moment it is still being offered to modern art dealers.

False work

2011 Oil on canvas, signed and dated bottom right. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). Acquired by an art dealer in Los Angels, USA. We have no information of the whereabouts of the work at the moment.

False work

2010 Construction. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). The construction is a copy of Constant's Construction aux plans transparents, 1954. The work was brought to our attention by a renown international auction house in London. After the authentication the buyer gave the work back to the German auction house where it had been bought. The German auction house redeemed the buyer. We are uncertain whether the work is still on the market.

False work

2008 Watercolor. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). The work is a copy of Constant's Junkies, 1987. The work was published in the catalogue of a renowned auction house in Amsterdam, offered for auction by an art dealer from Eindhoven, Netherlands. After authentication it was withdrawn from the auction. We are uncertain whether the work is still on the market.

False work

2007 Graphic work. The work was offered by a renowned auction house in Amsterdam. After it was established that the graphic itself may be an original but that the coloring was in fact not done by Constant the auction house took the work back and redeemed the buyer.

False work

2005 Gouache on paper, 1969, signed and dated bottom right. We have no reasons to believe this work was made by Constant (1920-2005). Surfaced during Constant's life and was explicitly rejected by Constant himself as being an authentic work from his hand. We have no idea of the whereabouts of this work.