Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

Get access

(1,175 words)

1. The term

In the visual arts, a signature is a token of authorship recorded on a work. It is a written indication of the identity of the creator of the work – full or abbreviated name or a monogram, occasionally also an individual symbol; it may be supplemented with information about the person of the artist, the commissioner, or the genesis of the work. Until the 18th century, the signature was frequently expanded by addition of a verb denoting the production process: Latin fecit, faciebat, complevit, inveni…

Cite this page
Gludovatz, Karin, “Signature”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 29 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_027509>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180208

▲   Back to top   ▲