Find answers to the most commonly asked questions about Artclear. If you have further questions, please get in touch.


What is Artclear?

We are a digital asset management infrastructure that is designed to solve the art world’s lack of reliable information. By permanently linking verified information to individual artworks our technology enables the:  

  1. Fast identification of physical artworks with forensic levels of certainty.  
  2. Secure management and sharing of information about artworks within and between organisations.  
  3. Easy verification of shared information, even between unknown third parties.

You can find out more about the company here.

Who can benefit from Artclear?

Artclear is designed to empower all kinds of art market participants in a wide variety of business interactions, including:

  • Artists & Studios
  • Galleries
  • Auction Houses
  • Museums
  • Collectors
  • Shippers and other art market service providers
  • Estates & Foundations
  • Financial Institutions & Insurers
  • Experts & Appraisers

Artclear Certificates

What is an Artclear Certificate?

An Artclear Certificate is permanent digital proof of facts about an individual work of art. Each Certificate:

  • Is immutably linked to the physical artwork by the Artclear Fingerprint for easy re-identification.
  • Digitally signed by the artist or gallery responsible for issuing the Certificate.
  • Can include many key facts about the artwork, from authenticity to title to location, provided by verified sources.

Learn more about Artclear Certificates here.

How do you transfer a Certificate?

An Artclear Certificate is transferable in digital format over the blockchain. Accounts on the Artclear portal incorporate digital wallets to receive and hold Certificates, as well as the tools to initiate and participate in transactions. Alternatively, clients can use other digital wallet applications.

Why would a collector transfer a Certificate when they sell their artwork?

An Artclear Certificate confirms the identity of the artwork in perpetuity and acts as proof of title. It can also be used to secure other information about the artwork that a collector may wish to share and prove to a third party, such as current location or condition. It is therefore a valuable instrument for the buyer.

The Artclear Portal

What is the Artclear Portal used for?

Our portal allows Artclear users to securely manage core functions of the Artclear solution from one place; recording artwork information, scheduling scanning for artwork fingerprinting, and issuing and managing Certificates. The portal can also be used to record and manage inventory.

Learn more about the portal here.

The Artclear Fingerprint

What is an Artclear Fingerprint?

The Artclear Fingerprint is a unique digital ID for a physical work of art. Here's how it works:

  • Artclear Scanner: We take microscopic images of a few selected regions of the artwork's surface.
  • Unique Fingerprint: Our forensic imaging software, developed with HP Inc., analyses these images to create a unique digital code based on the artwork's distinct physical characteristics.
  • Secure Record: This code is then linked to a secure digital record containing details about the artwork.
  • Re-identification: Whenever you need to confirm the artwork's identity you can rescan it. The Artclear system will instantly compare the new scan to the registered fingerprint, verifying its identity with an incredibly high accuracy rate – less than a one chance in a billion of a false identification.

Learn more about the Artclear Fingerprint here.

What are the benefits of an Artclear Fingerprint?

The Artclear Fingerprint offers an innovative solution to protect your valuable artwork and ensure its identification in perpetuity:

  • Unmatched Security: Provides a tamper-proof way to identify an artwork, eliminating concerns about errors or replicas.
  • Linking Data: Permanently anchor important information about your artwork to the physical object, removing uncertainty.
  • Peace of Mind: Gives you confidence knowing that the artwork has a secure digital record for its physical management, insurance, lending, or future ownership transfers.
How accurate is Artclear’s Fingerprint technology?

Our patented imaging technology, developed in partnership with HP Inc., guarantees forensic-grade certainty. That is less than 1 in 1 billion chances of a false identification.

Can extreme damage or significant changes in the condition of an artwork’s entire surface impact a scanner’s ability to re-identify the artwork?

Usually, no. Artclear scans capture details unaffected by color changes, dirt, or varnish. However, major restorations might impact matching. We recommend rescanning after restoration and updating the Certificate for a clear record.

Does my artwork need to be out of the frame for scanning?

Nope! We scan with the artwork in the frame, even on the wall. Our scanners and imaging software handle lighting, reflections, and angles.

What types of artwork can Artclear scan?

Currently, Artclear scans 2D works such as paintings, prints, photographs and drawings on various materials (e.g. fabric, paper, solid material, etc.). We can also handle textured surfaces on flat artworks, such as significant texture in the application of paint to a 2D surface. 3D scanning for sculptures is planned for the future.

Can Artclear scan artwork on-site?

Absolutely! Our portable scanners are designed for visiting your location, whether it's a gallery, storage facility, or even an ongoing exhibition. This means your artwork can be scanned in place, eliminating the need for removal. You have the flexibility to choose the scanning location and time when booking a session through the Artclear Portal.

Can Artclear re-identify a restretched painting?

Yes! Artclear's technology adjusts for up to 10% re-stretching.

How long does it take to scan and identify an artwork?

Scans to register and artwork take around 10-15 minutes. Scans to re-identify a work are slightly quicker.

What size artwork can Artclear scan?

Artclear's scanner can handle artworks of any size.

Can Artclear scan artworks with multiple pieces, such as diptychs or triptychs?

Yes, Artclear is designed to accommodate multi-part artworks. Our scanners capture a Fingerprint for each individual panel or component by scanning at least a section of it. This ensures all parts of the artwork are securely registered within the Artclear system.

Data and Security

How secure is my data?

Artclear is a fully independent data infrastructure. We are not controlled by any industry participants and so have no conflict of interest that might compromise our core principle that data is owned, controlled by and confidential to our clients.  

Certificate holders are the owners of all the facts about the work connected to their Certificate and determine who may see the information. The only way to find out what the facts are is to ask the Certificate holder (if you know who that is), who can choose whether to share that information.  

Certificate holders also have the sole right to commission verified parties to add new data to the Certificate. Because most Certificate data is recorded on the blockchain in encrypted form, indecipherable everyone including Artclear, they also control access to the data. Only Certificate holders can initiate transactions to transfer or share the Certificate with someone else.  


What is blockchain technology?

Blockchain is a secure technology for recording and verifying transactions in assets, without a central authority controlling the data. Blockchain assets are purely digital. They may have value in their own right (as “Cryptocurrencies”), or may be linked physically or legally to assets that exist outside the blockchain, such as work of art, intellectual property or a financial instrument.  

Virtually anything of value can be tracked and traded on a blockchain network, reducing risk and cutting costs for all involved.

How does Artclear use blockchain technology?

Artclear uses this blockchain technology to enable people to secure facts about a specific, physical artwork so that the information can be independently verified and trusted by someone who receives it. The decentralised nature of blockchain makes it highly resistant to tampering, adding an extra layer of security to each artwork's digital identity.


How does Artclear use blockchain technology?

Yes, the Artclear portal is designed to integrate easily with other systems. It offers two ways to integrate with your current system:

  • API Integration: Artclear uses APIs that allow for a smooth connection to an existing data management solution and enable seamless data flow between the two systems. For more information and to discuss your specific API integration needs, please contact Artclear.
  • CSV Data Import: If you prefer, you can bulk import existing artwork data directly into Artclear using a CSV (Comma-Separated Values) file. This provides a quick and easy way to populate your Artclear account without repeated manual data entry.

Additionally, Artclear allows permission-based data sharing. This means you can connect your account with others, such as artists linking with their galleries. This facilitates easy information exchange, for example, allowing artists to share details about new artworks directly with galleries for upcoming shows.