Copyright and Art Forgery: The Painting that Challenged the Law

Art ForgeryThe RSA (Royal Society of Arts, also the venue for the Festival) holds a significant place in the history of artistic copyright in the 19th century. Elena Cooper’s workshop unravelled this story, drawing on research undertaken at the RSA archives to be published in her forthcoming book: ‘Art and Modern Copyright: The Contested Image’.

Elena also linked this to CREATe research on the place of criminal law in copyright history, focusing on a case heard by the Old Bailey in 1857 about whether the crime of forgery included the application of a false signature to a painting. As part of the session, delegates were able to see a 19th century forgery of the painting at the centre of the case.