Monday, September 15, 2008

"Anyone with a touch of larceny in his heart cannot but thrill to hear of such feats of expert-foxing legerdemain"

Terry Teachout on Jonathan Lopez’s “The Man Who Made Vermeer: Unvarnishing the Legend of Master Forger Han van Meegeren.”

Here is another review, from the New York Sun: "In the case of art fraud, however, whatever admiration we feel for the skill of a forger who passes off a modern fake as a venerable Old Master and makes fools of the experts is mixed with a sharp sense of betrayal. A painting that was once proclaimed a masterpiece suddenly loses its beauty when shown up as a forgery. How were we so thoroughly hoodwinked? What we thought was a Vermeer or a Frans Hals and flocked to see turns out overnight to be nothing but kitsch. And yet, isn't it the same painting, fake or not? ... [A] forged artwork makes us question our very eyes."