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French museum discovers half its art is fake


French museum discovers half its art is fake

A museum in France that paid $256,000 for 82 works it believed were painted by Etienne Terrus, has discovered they are fakes. Read the full story

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  • This happens a lot more than we happened recently with Modigliani too. Talking about forgery how we can not talk about Keating, he was caught because he made a coming out.. he said barely half of the pieces he sold to all the museums, he never told all the truth. Probably because consequence can be devastating, painting sold for 50 millions, are more investment and speculation by big companies, after all for them it's not important if they are original or not as long as they have a value which increase during the time.
  •   I have read several book about artists who fake art.  Some go to great lengths to con museums into thinking it's real.  Some fakers are very good at it, and others aren't.  One guy used outdoor acrylic house paint and did well, but he was working with a really smooth con man who did the selling.  He was caught, did a few year's time, got out and went into the business of selling fakes as fakes.  An artist now living and working in Florida did much the same thing.  He started young and made fakes for spending money.  As he got older, he made a cracking good living at it, was never caught, and only admitted his skulduggery after the statute of limitations ran out.  He then began selling fakes as fakes, and does very well at it.                
  • Broker12

    The first forger you refer to is John Myatt. I have posted several of his TV shows to this Forum.
    Not only did Myatt use house paint but also used KY Jelly, a sex lubricant as a medium.

    i’ve had to delete a lot of the text. Use this link.

    The Ten Most Notorious Art Forgers Of All Time

    How can you tell what’s fake and what’s real? Turns out that sometimes you can’t. With an estimate of  around 20% of all artworks in museum possibly being fake, the market is rife with counterfeit masterpieces. This is despite the rise of technology making fakes easier to spot. Additionally, with the demand from museums being so high, it looks like art forgeries, and art forgers, aren’t going anywhere fast.

    But who are the most famous art forgers? How were they caught? How long did they spend in jail? Let’s take a look at the ten most notorious forgers of all time.

    Roman Sculpture Of Eros Sleeping. Credit: The Met Museum


    Yes, that’s right: the guy who sculpted David. In fact, a forgery kick-started his career. Renaissance artists all learned their trade by copying others. Thus, Michelangelo copied Roman sculptors when making Sleeping Eros in 1496. Strangely enough, when it was discovered to be a fake, Michelangelo’s reputation was sealed. Only a true master could fake so well.

    “Vessel in the Form of a Seamonster,” by Reinhold Vasters. Made in the style of Hans Vermeyen. Date unknown.

    Reinhold Vasters

    A nineteenth-century German goldsmith, he was long dead before he was discovered as a forger. Originally contracted to make reproductions of designs for art historian Franz Bock, he soon found out he could make more money by selling fakes. Artists he faked included Wenzel Jamnitzer, Leone Leoni and Valerio Belli. This fakery was only discovered in 1970, 60 years after his death, during a major archive by the V&A museum.

    Elmyr de Hory. Source: GQ

    Elmyr de Hory

    With over a 1000 fake pieces to his name, Elmyr de Hory is one of history’s most prolific forgers. 

    Van Meegeren at Work. Source: WikiCommons

    Han van Meegeren

    Han van Meegeren wanted to be a real artist. But critics kept calling his work highly derivative. Therefore, in a way to get back at them, he replicated the work of the world’s greatest artists. These included Pieter de Hooch, Gerard ter Borch, and Johannes Vermeer. Amazingly for a trickster, opinion polls in 1947 placed him as the second most popular of all Dutchmen, behind only the then Prime Minister.

    A Fake Giacometti by Robert Driessen. Date Unknown.

    Robert Driessen

    This forger made his riches by selling off Giacometti works as his own. With an estimated jackpot of €8 million,  Giacomettis.

    Wolfgang Beltracchi. Source: Achtzig

    Wolfgang Beltracchi

    The estimation for the amount of paintings the German art forger Beltracchi has faked is somewhere between 1000 and 1300. The man himself says that he has lost count. Described as the “forger of the century,” it is estimated that hundreds of his works are still in circulation. The authorities caught up with him in 2010, and he was sentenced to jail the next year. After being let out two years ago on good behaviour, he has made a promise not to keep on faking art.

    Tom Patrick Keating at work. Source: BBC

    Thomas Patrick Keating

    Thomas Patrick Keating was a forger with a cause. He started faking works in order to rail against “avant-garde fashion, with critics and dealers often conniving to line their own pockets at the expense both of naïve collectors and impoverished artists”. The one artist he perfecting in copying was Samuel Palmer, a nineteenth-century landscape painter. In a turn of ironic fate, counterfeits of Keating counterfeits are now on the market. As the Guardian reports: “If they manage to fool, they can claim £5,000 to £10,000.”

    The Recovered Mona Lisa. Source: Entrance Free
    The painting in question. “Vase De Fleurs,” by Paul Gauguin. 1891.

    Ely Sakhai

    Everything was going so well for Ely Sakhai, who had run a successful art forgery business for over fifteen years. Having purchased real paintings of masterworks, he would then order copies to be made of them. He would then sell both the frauds to Asia — with the attached certificate of authentication —while simultaneously selling the originals to American galleries. It all came to a head when the same work by Gauguin went up for auction at the exact same time by two different galleries. He spent over 41 months in Prison.

    John Myatt with a replication by Van Gogh. Image Source: The Riverside Journals

    John Myatt

    He has been described as committing “the biggest art fraud of the 20th century”. Along with his accomplice John Drewe, he has faked over 200 different artists. Despite using techniques that have later been called amateurish, the two swindled Sotheby’s and Christie’s out of hundreds of thousands of pounds. Jailed in 1998, he only spent four months in prison. Now his authenticated fakes still sell for large amounts of money.


  • My godness... reminds me the story I current read about Richard Prince...
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