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How to identify a painting's signature

Updated April 17, 2017

All original artwork contains a signature or symbol that represents the artist who created the painting. Artists may use their actual signatures or they may use what is called a monogram. A monogram is a symbol an artist adopts as a signature. Signatures or monograms can be found at the bottom margin of the painting or on the back of the canvas. In the case of a monogram, you can use an artist monogram database to match the monogram to the artist.

Check around the margin or on the back of the painting to locate the artist's signature or monogram.

Notice the type of painting. Many artists excel in a certain genre of painting such as landscape, still life or portrait. Search an artist database for popular artists under the categories of paintings they paint.

Search for the artist's monogram using the reverse-lookup process. Search through a database of matching monograms and artist names. Match the artist with his or her monogram to identify the artist of the painting.

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About the Author

David Shaw has been writing professionally since 2006. He has featured music-related articles in "Connections" and "Axis Magazine." Shaw attended Florida State University where he majored in communications and he was granted a certificate of completion from Full Sail Real World Education for the recording arts program.