Famous fakes

This lecture concerns “Famous Fakes”, that were purchased by major museums between 1850 and 1950. The counterfeits were objects of great artistic quality, that were bought, exposed and publicized in reference works by museums, such as the Louvre, the National Gallery, the British Museum and the Rijksmuseum. The blunders were therefore made by well-known experts and famous museum directors and not by ignorant amateurs. Once the objects were detected as fakes, they were immediately taken away, hidden and neglected. Still, fakes can teach us a great deal on the psychology of the vendor, maker and buyer, on cravings and fashion for artistic objects of certain historical periods, on the history of detection methods and verification techniques etc.This talk also tells the stories of three master forgers, Han van Meegeren, Fernand Legros and Wolfgang Beltracci, who fooled major museums and collectors. How they cleverly exploited their knowledge and skills to deceive on purpose and succeeded in doing so. 

An unusual story of fakes, with plenty of anecdotes and remarkable conclusions…

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