19 Oct 2012

Lindauer painting authenticity in doubt

7:17 pm on 19 October 2012

The authenticity of a $120,000 painting of a Tainui chief in the Waikato Art museum remains in question.

Art historian Roger Blackley believes the painting of Kewene Te Hao supposedly done by Gottfried Lindauer 120 years ago is a calculated forgery but another expert has stopped short of saying that.

Suspicions were raised this year about the painting, bought in 2001 by Trust Waikato.

Auckland Art Gallery conservator Sarah Hillary says forensic tests results show the painting has several inconsistencies.

Mr Blackley, of Victoria University, says his investigations, taken together with Ms Hillary's, show it is a fake.

Ms Hillary says the evidence is against the painting being a Lindauer because the style is different and it has not aged but she wouldn't categorically call it a fake.

Trust Waikato is making further investigations into the painting's provenance.