Frans Hals
Authenticity and Art Crime
a multidisciplinary Leiden-Delft-Erasmus minor

In this minor you will discover how the authenticity of art is established and how this affects the international art market. Along the way, you will learn about state-of-the-art physical and chemical analyses, legal and ethical standards, how to detect forgeries, and the workings and pitfalls of the art market.

The joint Leiden-Delft-Erasmus minors are multidisciplinary and open to all students of Leiden University, TU Delft and Erasmus University Rotterdam.

A work of art is often valued due to its attribution to a specific creator, location, or period. However, all this supposedly meaningful information is off the table when the work is in fact a forgery. Establishing authenticity has clear repercussions, not only art-historically, but also economically, influencing an artwork’s price, and legally because experts and sellers can be held accountable for misattributions and the sale of forgeries. Because of this, museums, auction houses, and international art fairs are increasingly relying on the chemical and technical investigation of art. Currently, the three pillars to establish the authenticity of a work of art are the expert opinion of the art expert (connoisseurship), its line of ownership (the provenance), and material analyses (forensics). In this comprehensive Minor the students will become acquainted with these and more. More information


Reasons to choose a Leiden-Delft-Erasmus minor:

1. Joint education by three top-class universities.
2. Important societal challenges and new solutions.
3. Educators and students from different academic fields.
4. Cases by companies, governments and NGOs.
5. Expand your network in Leiden, Den Haag, Delft and Rotterdam.

More Leiden-Delft-Erasmus minors

  • Admission requirements: This Leiden-Delft-Erasmus minor is open to all students of Leiden University, TU Delft and Erasmus University Rotterdam. 
  • Number of places: 30. A number of places are reserved for each university in order to ensure a balanced distribution from the different programmes.
  • Language: All Leiden-Delft-Erasmus minors are taught in English.
  • Credits: All minors have a coherent program of 30 EC. It is possible to only follow the first block of 15 EC.
  • Location: The lectures and seminars are held in one or more of the following cities: Leiden, Delft, The Hague, Rotterdam. 
  • Applications: You apply for a Leiden-Delft-Erasmus minor via eduXchange.
  • Selection: This is a selection minor. Make sure you check the application date.

Lecturers about this minor:

Dr. Anna Tummers

Dr. Anna Tummers (Leiden University): “One of the most attractive aspects of the new minor is that students learn from leading experts in the field how to effectively combine different academic disciplines. For authenticity research it is indispensable. Moreover, they can participate in new research; we will study a potential forgery or contested work together using a variety of methods and techniques, and if possible, search for similar works, such as other forgeries by the same hand.”


Dr. Matthias AlfeldDr. Matthias Alfeld (TU Delft): "Whenever I followed, or gave, lectures on technical art history, I had the impression that some aspect was not done justice. Either the technical aspects were simplified, or the art-history only used as a motivation for scientific experiments. Economic aspects were simply ignored. Thus I am excited to participate in this new Minor in that experts from all these fields come together to give for the first time a balanced overview.”