Bamboozling Forger Defends his Non-Nazi(?) Honor

…by proving his forgeries were in fact his.

The story of Van Meegeren’s Vermeer forgeries is legendary. The New York Times has a series of in depth articles about his life, the forgeries that pulled the wool over the eyes of the biggest collector of the day, no less than Reichsmarshal Hermann Göring, and how he later had to prove that the paintings he had sold were actually forgeries to escape charges of being a Nazi collaborator (which he likely was).Van Meegeren’s story is fascinating in all its details, likes how he mixed bakelite into his paintings and baked them to give them the appearance of age or the book of sentimental drawings he made Hitler.

The articles are based on two books that came out this past year, one of which, The Forger’s Spell by Edward Dolnick, I read and would recommend. In fact, I did recommend it, and included an interesting side story to boot. Interviews with both authors were interesting, and I can’t wait for part 3 to come out.

You can also gawk at how bad some of Van Meegeren’sVermeers‘ were.

Just Kidding–the last one is a real Vermeer. And it’s actually coming to New York, as a loan to the Met for a Dutch painting exhibition in the fall.

2 thoughts on “Bamboozling Forger Defends his Non-Nazi(?) Honor

  1. Fascinating how bad they are compared to a real Vermeer; it appears from the Errol Morris essays that ultimately the psychology of wanting to believe helped make the forgeries work. Thanks for the post and links -I got to discover one of my favorite filmmaker/ directors in a different light.

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