Peter Paul Biro
Fine Art Conservation & Forensic Studies in Art
About Peter Paul Biro
Peter Paul Biro received his training in painting conservation from his father, the late Géza T. Biró, conservator of paintings at the Budapest Museum of Fine Arts.
In 1984, Peter Paul was first to take advantage of the potential of human contact evidence on paintings for identification. He was successful in identifying a J.M.W. Turner canvas having matched fingerprints by the artist. The case, the first of its kind, brought him worldwide acclaim.
Since then, he has been specializing in solving some of the most challenging authentication cases, frequently showcased in the world media. Organizations such as universities, public and private collections request his work.
He has performed forensic examinations of paintings in museums and collections around the world and is building the first-ever database of artists' fingerprints.
Peter Paul is also an accomplished optical microscopist with over 30 years of experience in identifying painting materials principally through polarized light microscopy. His expertise in digital imaging, hyperspectral imaging and digital image processing has helped resolve numerous attribution issues.
He has given lectures at Harvard University, the University of Toronto, for the American Appraisers Association, the National Portrait Gallery in London, and the University of Glasgow.
Peter Paul has given numerous interviews for major international papers and appeared on prime time network television discussing his work. Biro’s discoveries were the focus of a feature length documentary internationally released by New Line Cinema, entitled Who the #$@% is Jackson Pollock. He has also contributed to a Discovery Channel special on Leonardo da Vinci, examining fingerprint evidence on a proposed Leonardo painting entitled Da Vinci’s Lost Code. That project was also the focus of another one-hour documentary by the BBC, UK. Biro was also interviewed for CBS’s 60 Minutes and for Anderson Cooper’s 360 for CNN.
He has contributed an important essay to the exhibition catalogue Pollock Matters at the McMullen Museum, Boston, USA, and has published in peer-reviewed journals including Mankind Quarterly, Antiquity, the Journal of the Royal Microscopical Society, Oxford, and others. He has contributed a chapter to the examination of a newly discovered drawing by Leonardo da Vinci written by Prof. Emeritus Martin Kemp entitled ‘La Bella Principessa’.
Peter Paul continues working on the development and the further improvement of non-destructive methods of painting analysis and new technologies to assist in art identification and due diligence studies. He has performed examinations of works by Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Ribera, Turner, Monet, Picasso, Munch, deKooning, Pollock and many others.
He lives with his wife of 28 years in Montreal, Canada.