The Man Who Made Vermeers

The Man Who Made Vermeers

Unvarnishing the Legend of Master Forger Han Van Meegeren

Book - 2008
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It's a story that made Dutch painter Han van Meegeren famous worldwide when it broke at the end of World War II: A lifetime of disappointment drove him to forge Vermeers, one of which he sold to Hermann Goering, making a mockery of the Nazis. And it's a story that's been believed ever since. Too bad it isn't true.Jonathan Lopez has drawn on never-before-seen documents from dozens of archives to write a revelatory new biography of the world's most famous forger. Neither unappreciated artist nor antifascist hero, Van Meegeren emerges as an ingenious, dyed-in-the-wool crook who plied the forger's trade far longer than he ever admitted--a talented Mr. Ripley armed with a paintbrush. Lopez also explores a network of illicit commerce that operated across Europe: Not only was Van Meegeren a key player in that high-stakes game in the 1920s and '30s, landing fakes with powerful dealers and famous collectors such as Andrew Mellon, but he and his associates later offered a case study in wartime opportunism as they cashed in on the Nazi occupation. The Man Who Made Vermeers  is a long-overdue unvarnishing of Van Meegeren's legend and a deliciously detailed story of deceit in the art world.
Publisher: Orlando : Harcourt, [2008]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2008
ISBN: 9780151013418
Branch Call Number: 759.9492 MEEGE LOP
Characteristics: 340 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm

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Lucchesa
Feb 16, 2017

Han van Meegeren sometimes gets romanticized as a charming rogue who pulled one over on the Nazis. This book shows him for the resentful, narcissistic, Nazi-sympathizing piece of work he actually was. Fascinating treatment of the lengths he went through to forge "Vermeers" that now look ridiculous but in wartime Europe were able to fool many experts.

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