The Wildenstein Institute is a French art institute that publishes catalogues raisonnés and scholarly inventories.
The Institute was founded in 1970 by Daniel Wildenstein as the Fondation Wildenstein and was renamed the Wildenstein Institute in 1990. It is an offshoot of the art dealing company owned by the Wildenstein family for five generations.
It houses the historic documents and photographic archives assembled by Nathan Wildenstein (the company founder) and his son Georges, which have been added to by subsequent generations. Daniel Wildenstein established the Wildenstein Index Number used by the Institute to identify paintings.
It publishes catalogues raisonnés and scholarly inventories of impressionists such as Monet and other modern artists such as Gaugin. It describes itself as a center for research in art history. It is currently headed by Guy Wildenstein.
The Institute publishes a Monet catalogue raisonné and is regarded as the "official" authenticator of Monet paintings. Acceptance of a Monet by the Institute significantly increases the commercial value of a painting. The Institute controversially refused to authenticate Bords de la Seine à Argenteuil after an investigation by Fiona Bruce (a journalist) and Philip Mould (an art dealer and historian) in the TV programme Fake or Fortune?, which first aired on 19 June 2011.
The Institute again featured in the 2nd episode of the 4th series, when an unsigned work in Picton Castle, which had been included in the Bernhein-Jeune catalogue raisonné of Renoir's works, was rejected by the Institute.
- Wall Street Journal
- Institute web site
- "Monet". Fake or Fortune?. Episode 1. 19 June 2011. BBC. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
- Freeman, Len (2011-06-19). "BBC programme preview". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-04-28.
- The Daily Telegraph