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Techniques & Tools Microscopy, Spectroscopy

Bringing Light to the Darkness

A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light.” - Leonardo da Vinci

Attention: Copyright in these images shall remain vested in Sotheby’s. Please note that this image may depict subject matter which is itself protected by separate copyright. Sotheby’s makes no representations as to whether the underlying subject matter is subject to its own copyright, or as to who might hold such copyright. It is the borrower’s responsibility to obtain any relevant permissions from the holder(s) of any applicable copyright and Sotheby’s supplies this image expressly subject to this responsibility. Note that the image is provided for a one-time use only and no permission is granted to alter this image in any way.

A Life of Fine Art and Finding Fakes

Now Director of Scientific Research at Sotheby’s auction house, James Martin has spent 25 years ascertaining the authenticity of art, cultural property, and collectibles. In an interview with Joanna Cummings, Martin shares the beauty of art analysis, and the love of art that drives him.

As an art conservation scientist, I work in the field of art research and use my art and scientific skills to make discoveries.  I now practice my profession at Sotheby’s auction house – with skills I have honed over many fascinating years.

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About the Author

James Martin

James Martin is Director of Scientific Research at Sotheby's.

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