Skip to main content


  • Chapter

Part of the Synthesis Lectures on Data, Semantics, and Knowledge book series (SLDSK)


In the world of art, the notion of provenance is well understood. A piece of art sold in an auction is typically accompanied by a paper trail, documenting the chain of ownership of this artifact, from its creation by the artist to the auction. This documentation is referred to as the provenance of the artifact. Provenance allows experts to ascertain the authenticity of the artifact, which in turn influences its price. If provenance is lost or incomplete, the artifact is likely to be auctioned for a lower price. In their book titled Provenance, Salisbury and Sujo [35] paraphrase the appreciation of provenance by a purveyor of art: “The more prestigious or infamous the previous owner, the better. A piece of art with a juicy history was always worth an extra ten grand.” They further quote Werner Muensterberger (Collecting: An Unruly Passion), who provides a collector’s perspective on provenance: “Buying a painting that was once owned by a well-known person means, in a way, standing in their shoes, walking in their footsteps, possessing a small part of their myth.”

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution.

Buying options

USD   19.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD   29.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Learn about institutional subscriptions


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2013 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Moreau, L., Groth, P. (2013). Introduction. In: Provenance: An Introduction to PROV. Synthesis Lectures on Data, Semantics, and Knowledge. Springer, Cham.

Download citation

Publish with us

Policies and ethics