…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’s ‘Vermeers‘ were.