History of Art Society Lady Frances Asquith, ‘Russian Art: the Problem of Expertise’

Lady Frances Asquith, from the Russian Art Department at Sotheby’s, came to share her expertise on the fascinating and controversial boom in the interest in, and valuations of, Russian art over the last 30 years – and the concomitant surge in the number of fake or ‘Russified’ paintings coming into the public domain. She had a wide variety of illustrations, ranging from original works found in obscure auction houses, via obvious fakes, to carefully-manufactured copies or invented pictures that have fooled the experts and even found their way into well-regarded catalogues. Her talk was a valuable, if daunting, insight into the triumphs and pitfalls available to the collector of Russian art today.