Authentication of CANADIAN ART, Canadian art authentication, authenticating Canadian paintings, authentication Group of seven, Kreighoff authentication, authenticating art, Canada art authentication services, Ontario art authenticators, art fraud investigation, fraud investigators, attribution and fake art identification. Les experts dans l'Authentification d'Art







Canadian Art Authentication

Les experts dans l'Authentification d'Art Canadiens

The fine art of  authenticating  Canadian art and paintings




ABOVE; Cornelius David Krieghoff

Les experts dans l'Authentification d'Art, Authentifiant l'art de Canada, Authentifiant Artistes travail d'art Canadiens.



Canadian Art Authentication: Before you begin


* Before entering into a full investigation of the legitimacy of a work of art, be it academic, forensic or as with most cases, both, it is essential to know if the project is at all viable and possibly provable. Much as you would need to know if you were taking a legal case to court.

Logically, if it is not, you should not attempt it, as the risk of failure is too high.

So we always prefer to make a preliminary and vital professional pre - authentication assessment for clients first. This is a study based upon the images you supply, the details and the items history.

This is a logical & cost effective professional assessment and advisory for which there is a modest set fee.

Please see our FAQ's which explains the process in detail.






Old Stump, Lake Superior


   Canadian art has long been a collector favourite with both homespun Canadian art collectors and international art investors alike.

It seemed to blossom & grow up overnight, with the first million dollar painting coming from Canadian Group of Seven artist Tom Thomson.

After that the flood gates opened and Canadian art prices exploded.


  As soon as face values for Canadian art started to rocket and get to that serious level, along came the even more serious fakers. Amongst them a British faker called Tom Keating who concentrated all his efforts on Canada's most famous and popular artist of the 1800's, Cornelius David Kreighoff,  a Dutchman who settled in Canada.


 Krieghoff depicted beautifully the Canadian landscape and its peoples, both indigenous and settler and  was and still is hugely collectible. Tom Keating claimed before he died to have painted over 150 Cornelius Krieghoff paintings which have been sold into the market and until today have never been identified. This fact remains undisputed as Krieghoff is one of Canada's most faked artists, but rest assured, not their only one!

PS:  I was privileged to visit the beautiful mansion of Frank Sobey in Nova Scotia and was enthralled to see a dining room full of Kreighoff's, but it did pass my mind ?



Krieghoff authentic painting








Krieghoff Fakes . ^ Watercolour    

Krieghoff fake pastel





This signature  (above)  photographed forensically

by Freemanart appeared on a painting dated 1937

which we were asked to authenticate.

Potentially it was very valuable.

The saving grace for the client, was that Freemanart,

identified acrylic hairs embedded in the paint. Acrylic

being an invention and product of the 60's, not the 1930's!

 The Canadian Group of Seven:

 The Canadian Group of Seven', were a gropu consisting of Canadian artists; Tom Thomson, Dr. A Y Jackson, Lawren Harris, Frank (Franz) Johnson, J. E. H. MacDonald, Arthur Lismer, A.J. (Alfred Joseph) Casson, Frederick Varley, and Franklin Carmichael,) They are arguably the most elite group of artists in Canadian History and certainly command large sums of money for their distinctive, truly Canadian paintings.


 Inevitably Canadian art works are faked and emulated too with many 'pot boilers,' or look alike works by 'followers' of the Group of Seven which have appeared at auction with altered or added signatures and brand new names, always effected to deceive and increase value. It's called fraud no matter how you dress it up.










 Canada proudly sports its fair share of Naive school artists too, including Maud Lewis. There are now a huge number of fakes of her works.


An authentic Maud Lewis                 And a Fake Maud Lewis









Paul Kane: Scene in the Northwest: Portrait of John Henry Lefroy.


 The most expensive painting to sell at auction in Canada is still Paul Kane's "Scene in the Northwest: A Portrait of John Henry Lefroy" which sold

for a staggering $5,062,500 (5.5 Million) dollars in 2002.






 Art authentication is not about guesswork and certainly not about wishful opinion.

It is a world where there is little room for conjecture and is all about reality.



 Most normal human beings are naturally guided here by a dream. A dream that what they have  may just be something special after all. They are beguiled by that magical possibility. A possibility that what they believe to be true, what they have been told is true or what they want to believe is true, is actually true!

But do remember, with authentication, that dream has to be absolutely proven. Just like a case placed before a court of law.

In court, any case must be proven and adjudged convincingly, without a shadow of doubt and proven in many different ways; academically, forensically and in reality. All of this has to be achievable before the the work can be pronounced absolutely authentic.

 Before you get into the procedures minefield which can evolve with art authentication, a field which may be both financially and emotionally taxing, it is more than wise to be realistic about the issue and have an independent 'preliminary assessment' conducted first.

 A pre authentication assessment, is a professional assessment which is based upon reality. It balances the viability of your work of art and its background and assesses the possibility based on our past experiences, that the case may be realistically followed through and eventually possibly be proven.  

The advice you get will be invaluable and based upon the simple question; Is there any reality in the possibility that the work of art could be right, can we diminish the risks and do we have any serious chance achieving our objective?

If a project is literally not achievable and not provable, surely it would be sensible to know that from the start!

 Such an assessment then allows the client to make a wiser, considered decision and apply a greater degree of sensibility in taking the leap into a staged, full blown authentication investigation.

It makes a great deal of sense.

CONTACT US for that advice.











List of Canada's most valuable paintings and their artists

Paul Kane - "Scene in the Northwest: A Portrait of John Henry Lefroy - $5,062,500 million

Lawren Harris – (Canadian Group of  Seven) The Old Stump, Lake Superior – $3,510,000.00

Lawren Harris(Canadian Group of Seven) Houses, St. Patrick Street – $2,808,000 0.00

Tom Thomson(Canadian Group of Seven) Early Spring, Canoe Lake – $2,749,500.00

Paul Kane -Portrait of Maungwudas made $2.2 million

Lawren Harris – (Canadian Group of Seven) Iceberg, Baffin’s Bay North -- $1,521,000.00

Jean Paul Riopelle - Untitled oil $ 1,400,000.00

Jean Paul Riopelle - Il etait une fois une ville

$ 1,262,903.00 

Lawren Harris (Canadian Group of Seven) In Buchanan Bay, Ellesmere Island -- $1,111,500.00

Emily Carr - Quiet $709,450.00

Emily Carr - War canoes, Alert Bay $620,700.00

Frederick Varley
(Canadian Group of Seven) Nude on a Couch – $585,000.00

A.Y. Jackson (Canadian Group of Seven) North Shore, Lake Superior – $526,500.00

Tom Thomson(Canadian Group of Seven)Autumn, Algonguin Park – $380,250.00

J.E.H. MacDonald(Canadian Group of Seven) Sunset, Waldmere Farm, Muskoka – $339,300.00

Paul-Émile Borduas – Arabesque – $338,750.00

Cornelius David Krieghoff $320,000.00 Mail boat landing at Quebec $309,000.00

E.J. Hughes had a painting that sold for $245,700 and set a Canadian record for a drawing.

Arthur Lismer  (Canadian Group of Seven) Shoreline Vancouver Island $210,000.00






Aboriginal  Art & Fakes

 Some of Canada's best and truly 'Canadian' masterpieces can be attributed to a monumental First Nation talent called Norval Morriseau whose life and times is covered far more eminently by other commentators on the internet. However, he is not the only great first nation talent.

 Norval Morrisseau a native Ojibway, was giant amongst North American aboriginal artists and remains so today but even before his death in 2007, Norval Morrisseau works of art were appearing on the market which he had nothing to do with.

 It is a difficult situation here because you have to consider the number of highly principalled emulators who worked under him and around him during his life, students and admires alike, who were both copying his style, manner and sometimes his works themselves recreating his works of art religiously.



 In the main, this was for sound reasons and this fact should be counterbalance against to down and out crooks and fraudsters who are mind set to introduce new and 'fake' Morriseau works into the Canadian ART market.

Not so difficult through some schemes and methods, often reported, by collusion.


 However, Morriseau is not the only faked aboriginal artist or aboriginal style by any means.

Haida art from the west coast is big business with , masks, weavings and carvings being amongst the fake fodder.

 Both Inuit Eskimo and Native American art have gained massive international recognition as investible and therefore valuable art forms over the past few decades. Inuit Eskimo soapstone carvings fetch large amounts of money too and with it, a reputation for being falsified and reproduced.


Inuit  Eskimo  Soapstone  Carving












 The Freemanart Consultancy specialise in art authentication and have experts who specialise in Canadian art and in particular the art of the Group of Seven and their followers.

We are specifically here to assist you with both valuations of Canadian art and Canadian art authentication issues.


For further details on ART Authentication Click Here


To Contact the Freemanart Consultancy Click Here:



















Authenticating Ivan Aivazovsky


 REV.James Wills