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The Art of Forgery: The Minds, Motives and Methods of Master Forgers

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The Art of Forgery: The Minds, Motives and Methods of Master Forgers explores the stories, dramas and human intrigues surrounding the world's most famous forgeries - investigating the motivations of the artists and criminals who have faked great works of art, and in doing so conned the public and the art establishment alike. The Art of Forgery: The Minds, Motives and Methods of Master Forgers explores the stories, dramas and human intrigues surrounding the world's most famous forgeries - investigating the motivations of the artists and criminals who have faked great works of art, and in doing so conned the public and the art establishment alike.


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The Art of Forgery: The Minds, Motives and Methods of Master Forgers explores the stories, dramas and human intrigues surrounding the world's most famous forgeries - investigating the motivations of the artists and criminals who have faked great works of art, and in doing so conned the public and the art establishment alike. The Art of Forgery: The Minds, Motives and Methods of Master Forgers explores the stories, dramas and human intrigues surrounding the world's most famous forgeries - investigating the motivations of the artists and criminals who have faked great works of art, and in doing so conned the public and the art establishment alike.

30 review for The Art of Forgery: The Minds, Motives and Methods of Master Forgers

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ms.pegasus

    Think about it. A lie, in itself, is not a crime. Only when it becomes a tool for fraud or theft is it part of a criminal act. This is the dilemma Charney tackles in his overview of art forgery. Ruefully, he notes that art forgers normally serve short prison sentences and often rise to profitable celebrity status on release. Thanks to the megaphone of social media, schadenfreude of a disproportionately vicious nature is routinely hurled at the forger's wealthy and elite victims. “Art forgery ap Think about it. A lie, in itself, is not a crime. Only when it becomes a tool for fraud or theft is it part of a criminal act. This is the dilemma Charney tackles in his overview of art forgery. Ruefully, he notes that art forgers normally serve short prison sentences and often rise to profitable celebrity status on release. Thanks to the megaphone of social media, schadenfreude of a disproportionately vicious nature is routinely hurled at the forger's wealthy and elite victims. “Art forgery appears to be an unthreatening and victimless crime — or rather, one that affects only wealthy individuals and faceless institutions. But this is a media construct, of course, and we have seen why it is important to the preservation of pure and true history to curb forgers and identify forgeries.” (p.249) Charney reminds us that art is a cultural legacy for all of us to share. We rely on meticulous scholarship to present us with interpretations based on fact. Ultimately we, the public, are the forger's victims. “The cases in this book show the power of attempting to rewrite history. Although the objects involved in these frauds have been clearly shown to be forgeries, belief in them endures. Regardless of the proof that they have always been fraudulent, many people refuse to believe that they are anything but authentic, and of huge importance. Even forgeries that are found out have the ongoing power to change history — just as the forgers had hoped.” Had Charney looked to literature rather than the law, his argument would have had greater impact. Forgery (the lie) is a betrayal. Betrayal in works of fiction always leads to unforeseen and tragic consequences. The question that resonates is one of ethics rather than legality, and ethical conflict is a core literary theme. Charney comes close to this position by focusing on the motives of the forgers who populate this book. Surprisingly, in many cases money was not the primary motive. Eric Hebborn specialized in creating “preparatory drawings” of Old Masters and successfully scammed the Getty and the British Museum. He proudly detailed his methods in The Art Forger's Handbook. Tom Keating faked the style of both old masters and 20th century artists, but planted “tells” like an undercoating of glycerin which would dissolve the painting's surface should any attempt be made to clean the work. Mark Landis assumed various aliases and presented his forgeries as gifts to a number of minor museums. Because no money changed hands, he was never prosecuted. Wolfgang Beltracchi's forgeries of 20th century art were so convincing that art historian Werner Spies mistakenly authenticated many of them and was later sued in civil court, an unusual occurrence. Even as a guilty verdict came in, Beltracchi was all smiles, basking in his celebrity and the praise of German newspapers for his artistic talent. Despite Charney's castigation of forgers, these miniature case studies have a lurid true-crime aura, a draw that no doubt appealed to readers of this book in the first place. Ironically, the most sympathetic cases of victimization are the scholars misled by the Piltdown hoax, and by the Vinland Map rather than the curators and connoisseurs of the art world. In all too many cases, duped museums resisted evidence pointing to forgery. In a conflict of interest between their own reputations and the truth, pride too often prevailed. The beautiful color photographs of both the original paintings and the forged works painted “in the style of ….” are the real essence of this book. They not only supplement the text, but are positioned with the relevant text. With the exception of a mind-numbing introductory chapter that presents a taxonomy of motives, this is a succinct, engaging and informative overview of a fascinating subject. Extensive footnotes, a bibliography and an index are helpful for both navigation and further reading. NOTES discussion of the question: when is lying illegal? https://law.stackexchange.com/questio... the weight of betrayal in literature: https://www.theguardian.com/books/201... Article on another art controversy; art historian Christopher Wright maintains a work attributed to Rogier Van der Weyden is actually another sly forgery from the hand of Eric Hebborn: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddes... On a positive note, this article describes how technology and artistry have combined to provide instructive and wide-spread glimpses of the original works, many ravaged by time. With Covid closing many museums and curtailing travel, these copies enrich our experience of artworks we cannot see in person: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddes...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    I would like to begin with a big compliment for the person who gave this book its visual look, the front with the cover design of Johannes Vermeer's Girl with a pearl earring om a black velvet underground is breathtaking. Good enough reason to buy the book in the first place. The books illustrations of the various paintings, drawings and other objects are very good looking too and well placed in the book. The books starts with an introduction about how the world likes to be deceived and it split I would like to begin with a big compliment for the person who gave this book its visual look, the front with the cover design of Johannes Vermeer's Girl with a pearl earring om a black velvet underground is breathtaking. Good enough reason to buy the book in the first place. The books illustrations of the various paintings, drawings and other objects are very good looking too and well placed in the book. The books starts with an introduction about how the world likes to be deceived and it split up up in various sections in which the writer wants to tells us about the various motives for forgery. Genius, Pride, Revenge, fame, crime, opportunism, money & power. in it the clearly knowledgeable writer tells us a great amount about the history of forgery and some of its main characters. The amount of cases and names are large and some surely deserve more attention hence me buying the Charney book on the subject of the Jan van Eyck's Ghent Altar piece and the book on the subject of the stealing of the Mona Lisa in 1911. This book in essence is a appetizer with loads of interesting stories to tell like Han Vermeegeren who almost got convicted for treason because he sold treasure to the Nazi's which he created himself. (I was Vermeer by Fran Wynne is lying also at my home). It is a collection of stories that I find interesting and fascinating, as it also tells a lot about the development of art and society in our history. Even the Romans already faked Greek art for social standing. It is a well written and really good looking book that is interesting and moves along in quite a quick pace. So if like me you want to find something more indepth about certain cases, you can always read another book on the subject as specific as you want. Really worth my time and very informative. Well advised.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    “Welcome to the world of forgery and remember your Petronius: Munus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur, ‘The world wishes to be deceived, so let it be deceived’” “Art forgery appears to be an unthreatening and victimless crime (or rather, one that only affects the very rich, with the media and forgers alike implying that these elitist victims deserve to have the wool pulled over their eyes), so its criminals tend to be seen as skilful rapscallions, part-illusionists, part-practical jokers, the ones who “Welcome to the world of forgery and remember your Petronius: Munus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur, ‘The world wishes to be deceived, so let it be deceived’” “Art forgery appears to be an unthreatening and victimless crime (or rather, one that only affects the very rich, with the media and forgers alike implying that these elitist victims deserve to have the wool pulled over their eyes), so its criminals tend to be seen as skilful rapscallions, part-illusionists, part-practical jokers, the ones who point out that the emperor (in this case, the art world) wears no clothes.” This is the second book I’ve read about art forgery in about as many weeks. While the subject definitely interests me (obviously) – reading the two books almost in succession does lead to a bit of an overlap in the information and begs for comparisons. Out of respect for each author’s individual writing style and opinion about the subject matter I am going exercise my barely-there self-control and refrain from making the comparisons. Mr. Charney gives his readers quite a lengthy introduction with this book, so even if a reader is not familiar with the subject of art forgery, after reading the introduction the rest of the book makes good sense. He also breaks the book up into interesting sections, each detailing one aspect behind the “art of forgery”. The sections heading are Genius, Pride, Revenge, Fame, Crime, Opportunism, Money and Power, each a reason in the mind of the perpetrator to commit the fraud. Mr. Charney points out over and over again that no one is ever charged with forging a piece of art. The act of copying a piece of art is not a crime. In fact since the teaching of art began the best way of learning the craft is to copy the masters. The crime comes in misrepresenting the piece as something that it is not or providing a provenance that is fictitious. Not only art but also history itself has been altered by clever and talented cons involving faked provenance. Since the punishment for art crime not involving theft is minimal often the forger emerges from his cell with somewhat of a celebrity status and goes on to make more money legitimately afterwards. If the case is made well-known to the public even the forgeries become highly sought after works. Exhibitions made up entirely of art forgeries have often been staged by premier Art Galleries. “… there is a distinct lack of disincentive for potential criminals to try their hand at forgery.. This is perhaps most obvious in the cases of John Myatt and Wolfgang Beltracchi, both of whom served a minimal amount of time in minimum-security prisons, and both of whom enjoyed lucrative careers following their exposure. The prison sentences for forgers tend to be so slight, and the popular interest in them so great, that it may seem well worth a year or two in a minimum-security prison to then emerge as a sort of folk hero with a rewarding career” “In the field of art forgery, the benefits outweigh the risks, and by a mile.” Mr. Charney concludes his book with examples of forgeries other than art including fine wine, archeological finds, maps, literature and signatures/autographs. All in all this is another comprehensive book on the subject written in an easy to read and understandable manner complete with beautiful pictures and illustrations. I’m usually pretty generous with my 5-star ratings of non-fiction, and I would rate this book at 4 stars because I found as Mr. Charney gave his personal conclusions at the close of each section of the book he had nothing new to say – he’d stated the obvious in his introduction – so it just became repetitive. However, I feel obligated to knock another ½ star off because Mr. Charney sites the 2013 movie “The Art of the Steal” (starring Kurt Russell and Matt Dillon) in this book and – this is only my humble opinion!! – I feel he gets the synopsis of the movie wrong. BTW … it was an excellent movie to site because this film encompasses almost every aspect of art crime, from theft to forgery and on through fake provenance, skilled con men, intricate planning, questionable art experts, shady deals and greedy buyers in a highly entertaining and very humorous manner. Now the movie I would rate 5-stars! Interestingly enough, considering he just published a book dealing exclusively with forgery Mr. Charney makes the following statement in the concluding pages … “If anything, the media fascination with forgers provides an active incentive for those considering forgery. If the media collectively sternly condemned forgers rather than applauding their exploits, it would be a step in the right direction. Likewise, if the media agreed not to publish the names or photographs of forgers, nor images of their handiwork – the publication of which offers forgers a route to celebrity – it would have a similarly dissuasive effect. Such a collective agreement on the part of major media players remains highly unlikely, however.” Seems a little contradictory? Or is it my fault for my fascination with the topic?

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rhiannon Hart

    Scholarly in tone but still very readable. Plenty about the human psyche and why people forge as well as how and what. Very interesting a beautifully designed book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    kari

    A good and extensive look at history of art forgery - the outline of this book is quite a work of art itself. It would have been even better without the occasional slips into racist and ableist language.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Susan Fowler

    Amazing. If you’re thinking of reading it, just get it and read it ASAP. You won’t regret it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    Unfortunately the book is not greater than the sum of its parts. Many of the individual stories are very interesting, however they are covered so quickly that very little beyond the surface summary of them is really explained. Though the book is categorized by understanding the different motivations of art forgery, I never felt the book really had anything interesting to say about that. If the book had just been told in chronological order, it would have read the same. It made me interested in t Unfortunately the book is not greater than the sum of its parts. Many of the individual stories are very interesting, however they are covered so quickly that very little beyond the surface summary of them is really explained. Though the book is categorized by understanding the different motivations of art forgery, I never felt the book really had anything interesting to say about that. If the book had just been told in chronological order, it would have read the same. It made me interested in the subject in general, and maybe I will go seek out some books that cover some of the more interesting stories in greater depth, particularly those involving the artistic techniques for creating forgeries.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Noah Goats

    I thought this book was great. I've been reading books and watching documentaries about art forgers for a while now, but this is the first book I've read that takes a broad view of the subject. In this book, Noah Charney delves into the history of art forgery with a particular focus on the motives behind some of history's most famous forger. I also like that the hardback edition that I read included high quality images of forged works side by side with legitimate ones. These forgers are lawless I thought this book was great. I've been reading books and watching documentaries about art forgers for a while now, but this is the first book I've read that takes a broad view of the subject. In this book, Noah Charney delves into the history of art forgery with a particular focus on the motives behind some of history's most famous forger. I also like that the hardback edition that I read included high quality images of forged works side by side with legitimate ones. These forgers are lawless rascals, but they are also skilled artists who wouldn't get anywhere if they couldn't produce beautiful paintings. I really enjoyed reading this one.

  9. 5 out of 5

    alli

    i greatly admire the concept of making masterful art just to spite the art world, getting caught because you got a bit too cocky, going to jail for a short time, and then becoming a relatively famous painter in your own right i found this book and the stories in it fascinating. granted, art history is something i’m very passionate about, and i think if it’s not a passion of yours, you would not enjoy this book much. while this book is on its way to making art more accessible to the masses, it’s i greatly admire the concept of making masterful art just to spite the art world, getting caught because you got a bit too cocky, going to jail for a short time, and then becoming a relatively famous painter in your own right i found this book and the stories in it fascinating. granted, art history is something i’m very passionate about, and i think if it’s not a passion of yours, you would not enjoy this book much. while this book is on its way to making art more accessible to the masses, it’s still quite difficult to read. on the plus side it does have pictures!! anyways i’m a nerd and this was a cool book to me, but i would not necessarily recommend it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Carin

    I heard this author on NPR and thought the book sounded interesting, but I had no idea until I got it in my hands how impressive the production of the book is. The book has color images throughout, therefore the entire book is printed on bright white, heavy-stock paper (it weighs a ton). And there are blue pages tipped in at the beginning of each section (and they are different shades of blue.) It really is a well-designed book that must have cost the publisher a fortune, showing how much they b I heard this author on NPR and thought the book sounded interesting, but I had no idea until I got it in my hands how impressive the production of the book is. The book has color images throughout, therefore the entire book is printed on bright white, heavy-stock paper (it weighs a ton). And there are blue pages tipped in at the beginning of each section (and they are different shades of blue.) It really is a well-designed book that must have cost the publisher a fortune, showing how much they believe in the book. The images are key. It brings so much to the book when we can look at a painting and a fake of it side-by-side. I didn't as much care about the occasional images of some of the forgers, but the artworks they created are impressive, even (or especially) the fakes. I liked how the book was organized around motivations instead of around types of artwork or types of forgeries. Looking at the personalities behind the forgers brought a new level of fascination. I've read about a couple of these forgers in the past like in Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art by Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo but I never understood why they did it, aside from the money. It's interesting that money is often a secondary reason. It's much more common that the forgers are failed artists who want to embarrass the art world or prove the experts who rejected them wrong. And for that to truly work, they have to be caught. Their forgeries have to be exposed, or no one will be embarrassed, no one will be proven wrong. The breadth of work some of these forgers create is astonishing. Some can replicate the style of hundreds of artists across centuries and genres. It does seem as if they are very talented and it does make you wonder about why some people succeed and others fail. Are they truly missing that extra something, that passion, that frisse? Or are they only successful when copying someone else who was honestly inspired? It's also interesting to look at times when the art world really shouldn't have been fooled by forgers obviously using the wrong media, and yet it was overlooked. If you have any interest in the art world, this book is a must-read. Exhaustively researched, but accessibly written, this book was fascinating and hard to put down.

  11. 4 out of 5

    James

    A fascinating study of the history and psychology of art forgers, mostly in the 20th century. Charney tells why and how they accomplished their forgeries. Of course, the ones we know about were ultimately unsuccessful in continuing to fool the art establishment--but to the extent they did, putting a thumb in the eye of the so-called "experts" did the trick. Of course, money comes into it too. The book is a delightful, compelling read. You learn a lot about the techniques of forgery as well as th A fascinating study of the history and psychology of art forgers, mostly in the 20th century. Charney tells why and how they accomplished their forgeries. Of course, the ones we know about were ultimately unsuccessful in continuing to fool the art establishment--but to the extent they did, putting a thumb in the eye of the so-called "experts" did the trick. Of course, money comes into it too. The book is a delightful, compelling read. You learn a lot about the techniques of forgery as well as the stories of the forgers. Highly recommended

  12. 5 out of 5

    Carla Guzman

    Doesn't really go into detail of the forgeries, mostly harping on the "genius" of the men behind it. Which as a woman, made me uncomfortable to read. Author in the intro states that there are "no woman forgers" and that's unsurprising now, because apparently, most of these men got away with committing crimes and walking away with TV careers? Or they walked away knowing that they just did it for fun? My headcanon is that women forgers do exist, and that nobody's been smart enough to catch them ye Doesn't really go into detail of the forgeries, mostly harping on the "genius" of the men behind it. Which as a woman, made me uncomfortable to read. Author in the intro states that there are "no woman forgers" and that's unsurprising now, because apparently, most of these men got away with committing crimes and walking away with TV careers? Or they walked away knowing that they just did it for fun? My headcanon is that women forgers do exist, and that nobody's been smart enough to catch them yet. But that kind of colored my entire reading experience so, two stars.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    I loved this book. Not only was the topic fascinating, but it was organized in an interesting way and really well-written. I enjoyed learning about the different types of forgeries through the centuries, but the different motivations behind the crime. Read if you have any interest art conservation/history.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rose Ann

    Wow, what a good book this was! Informative and well-written.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Dunkle

    I enjoy Charney's writings (minus his novel which I did not like very much). He is extremely knowledgeable and his writing is very accessible. His work is always well-notated and his bibliographies always provide me with other things to read. This particular book is a nice, light look at forgeries and forgers over time. It explores the motives behind forgeries and verges off from art a bit looking at forgeries in other fields as well. Most of the subjects he touches on I have been familiar with. I enjoy Charney's writings (minus his novel which I did not like very much). He is extremely knowledgeable and his writing is very accessible. His work is always well-notated and his bibliographies always provide me with other things to read. This particular book is a nice, light look at forgeries and forgers over time. It explores the motives behind forgeries and verges off from art a bit looking at forgeries in other fields as well. Most of the subjects he touches on I have been familiar with. Anyone with an interest in art crime probably has come across most of the names cited in the book. It doesn't make the book any less enjoyable, though, as it was nice to recall some of the names I had read about previously. For those without a lot of knowledge, this is a good primer to the field. Being published by Phaedon it is a gorgeous, high-quality book. The book is loaded with nice photographs which is an extra bonus. Of all the topics in the book, I would love if Charney were to write more about the 21st century technologies that are both being used to identify forgeries and also to create better forgeries.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Fernando Pestana da Costa

    The subtitle of this book tells us all about its contents. What it does not tell us is the sheer beauty of the book: illustrated by a vast number of color reproductions of works of art, and by some black and white and color photographs, this book is not only written in a very lively style about an extremely interesting phenomenon of the art world, but is also visually delightful. The world of art forgery is indeed a murky world in which several potent interests and motivations (which include, bu The subtitle of this book tells us all about its contents. What it does not tell us is the sheer beauty of the book: illustrated by a vast number of color reproductions of works of art, and by some black and white and color photographs, this book is not only written in a very lively style about an extremely interesting phenomenon of the art world, but is also visually delightful. The world of art forgery is indeed a murky world in which several potent interests and motivations (which include, but is not limited to, money - lots of it!) meet and crisscross each other. This book, that is mostly about forgeries in painting, but also has extended information of cases in sculpture and a more limited (although also very interesting) set of other type of forgeries such as wines, literary manuscripts, maps, religious relics, and even scientific (the infamous Piltdown Man remains), details very many cases in depth and analyzes their history, as well as presenting the forgerers, who are typically technically very gifted artists themselves, in a light that is, if not positive, at least compassionate. A delightful book!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Elena

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Great introduction to forgers, how they go about their business, and the history of famous forgeries. Gorgeous pictures, too. A couple things I want to try and remember, that were so interesting to me: most forgeries are not of known paintings, but are attempts to do things in the style of someone and slip it through with legit provenance for a lost/missing artwork. Another was the enormous role of connoisseurs, who just 'know' whether something is real or fake, in their bones somehow. A constan Great introduction to forgers, how they go about their business, and the history of famous forgeries. Gorgeous pictures, too. A couple things I want to try and remember, that were so interesting to me: most forgeries are not of known paintings, but are attempts to do things in the style of someone and slip it through with legit provenance for a lost/missing artwork. Another was the enormous role of connoisseurs, who just 'know' whether something is real or fake, in their bones somehow. A constantly amusing part of the book was how much the author wanted to convince the reader that forgery is not just a victimless crime, and it's not just taking the artificial difference between an authorized and unauthorized painting and moving that lump of capital away from the uber-rich. But I am not so sure it was successful, as I got to the end thinking pretty much the same thing--art forgery is pretty hilarious :). That said, the book was so fun and addictive to read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brian Tringali

    I never studied art history in college but have always wished that I had. This work may be intended for use as a textbook, but I really enjoyed. Indeed, I could not put it down. I love the science behind the artwork, particularly with regard to oil (although that is my least experienced medium). Charney's work explores the history of art forgery and makes a strong argument that consumers want to be fooled. The author explores the psychological motivations of the forger in some detail. But Carney I never studied art history in college but have always wished that I had. This work may be intended for use as a textbook, but I really enjoyed. Indeed, I could not put it down. I love the science behind the artwork, particularly with regard to oil (although that is my least experienced medium). Charney's work explores the history of art forgery and makes a strong argument that consumers want to be fooled. The author explores the psychological motivations of the forger in some detail. But Carney goes further and provides recommendations for curbing forgery in the future -- a noble gesture that is likely to fall on deaf ears. We like being fooled and we give a cult-like status to those who fool us. One might say the devil is in the details.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    I consider this book a well structured overview about art forgery methods and motives. If you happen to study art history or need a quick and well explained overview about art forgery/fraud this is a good book to turn to. It is well researched and structured. If you need more insight in a special case or method, this book might not be for you, although you could get some hints on where to find what you might been looking for in the footnotes (which I personally appreciate, as they help me to dig I consider this book a well structured overview about art forgery methods and motives. If you happen to study art history or need a quick and well explained overview about art forgery/fraud this is a good book to turn to. It is well researched and structured. If you need more insight in a special case or method, this book might not be for you, although you could get some hints on where to find what you might been looking for in the footnotes (which I personally appreciate, as they help me to dig further into certain things). The motives are the main focus, the methods used are mentioned, but not going into detail.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dragan Nanic

    Such an enticing title, promising the insight into one of the most intriguing endeavours - forgery. After all, not all forgery is connected to a criminal activity, within this book there are also great artist who copied work of other masters to learn or to show their own mastery. Author made a good systematization but failed to deliver on the in-depth discussion. Many of the stories are so brief I had hard time following or understanding the point. My guess is that it was done not to burden the Such an enticing title, promising the insight into one of the most intriguing endeavours - forgery. After all, not all forgery is connected to a criminal activity, within this book there are also great artist who copied work of other masters to learn or to show their own mastery. Author made a good systematization but failed to deliver on the in-depth discussion. Many of the stories are so brief I had hard time following or understanding the point. My guess is that it was done not to burden the casual reader, yet it could have easily been twice as long and still interesting. Best used as a reference and a starting point for a serious reading on the topic (or on a particular forger).

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

    Amazing book! Nothing else quite like it. If you are interested in art history in any way please read this. Charney tells these stories with so much passion that even the duller stories become incredibly entertaining. A must read. Truly gives the reader an insight into the business side of the art world and the criminals/masterminds behind the curtain. A read it in one night because I couldn't stop. Amazing book! Nothing else quite like it. If you are interested in art history in any way please read this. Charney tells these stories with so much passion that even the duller stories become incredibly entertaining. A must read. Truly gives the reader an insight into the business side of the art world and the criminals/masterminds behind the curtain. A read it in one night because I couldn't stop.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Stormy

    This book looks at motivations of art forgers such as pride, poverty, and even revenge - but it also looks at motivations of galleries, auction houses, and collectors who are on a treasure hunt to find the next Leonardo. They subconsciously might want to be deceived when presented with a possible “lost” art piece. It all makes for an interesting look at human nature.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    Not blown away by this. The categories he placed the forgers into seemed contrived and forced. The most interesting parts of the forgery process: the hard work behind creating the works and the hard work behind detecting and prosecuting the forgers, were superficially addressed in most cases in order to provide this broad view.

  24. 4 out of 5

    EJ

    The Art of Forgery is an incredible insight of how people are able to mimic famous artists and the technique they use. It is insightful to see professionals picking at the forged art and examine how it has been forged. It does show how these individuals are talented, depite forging pieces of art work.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Fran Fisher

    Charley cautions against supporting forgery by being interested in forgeries, making them celebrities. And yet, here he is, writing a pedantic volume which can only appeal to readers interested in forgeries. Lots and lots of information if you want to do a bit more digging.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Troy Stirman

    EXTREMELY interesting read for anyone that is curious about this subject. The author has gone to great lengths in his research to convey some of the most fascinating tales of forgery and deception that impacts the world of fine art.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Beth Baryon

    Fascinating read. I liked thinking about what motivated the forgers and the overview of historical forgery cases.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    very interesting.

  29. 5 out of 5

    dwillsh

    interesting...

  30. 4 out of 5

    Connie Delzer

    very well written

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