Verso is the Latin for reverse or back of an object. It is also the name for the left-hand page of an open book or manuscript.
When collectors read that a work of art is signed on the Verso, it means that the artist has preferred to sign her work on the back. Traditionally, most art photography has been signed on the back. On easel art, the verso also gives away important clues about the past of the art. It often reveals if the painting has been restored with lining, if it contains gallery inventory numbers and collector’s marks which could help establish an unbroken line of provenance, and in turn secure a firm attribution or unquestionable authenticity of the art.
Return to the art glossary
Return to entries beginning with V