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10 skilful blacksmiths who have totally connected the art world

Art is a strange thing, but the art business is a stranger. If a painting has been authenticated as a masterpiece, it can be hugely expensive in galleries and auction houses. The dealer receives a fee, the auction house a fee, and the buyer receives a masterpiece of value. They have no interest in finding out later that it is worthless. Even questionable paintings are therefore not questioned.

Police have estimated that up to half of the artwork sold on the international market could be counterfeited. It is estimated that major museums have collections that are fake about 20 percent. In April 2018, a museum in France discovered that 82 of the 140 paintings by Etienne Terrus were forged. The forgeries were only discovered when a visitor with eagle eyes noticed that some of the buildings shown in the paintings were erected after the death of the artist. Oops. [1


Artists often receive only a small fraction of the hammer prices for valuable works of art. Sometimes these artists decide to defend themselves.

10 Han Van Meegeren

In 1932, Han van Meegeren decided under criticism that his work was "unoriginal" and decided to create a new and original work by the great master Johannes Vermeer. He told himself that the painting, once accepted by leading scholars, would denounce it as a joke.

He created his painting with the name Supper at Emmaus . He used genuine 17th-century canvas and only pigments that would have been available at the time. He added bakelite to the paints, which made them rock hard, giving the impression of an old age. [2]

It was proclaimed as a masterpiece and acquired by a Dutch gallery, which culminated in its exhibition. The moment when Van Meegeren announced his fake came. And went. Instead, he decided to work on another. And another. And another one.


Without this reluctant confession Van Meegeren had the art world can ever deceive.

9 [19459010Michelangelo

Michelangelo began his career as an art forger. He created a series of statues, including Sleeping Cupid (or simply Cupid ), when he worked for Lorenzo di Pierfranseco. Di Pierfranseco asked Michelangelo "to fix it so that it looked like it had been buried." Di Pierfranseco intended to sell the sculpture as an ancient work of art, not knowing that an authentic work by Michelangelo would one day demand a much higher price. 19659002] The piece was sold to Cardinal Raffaello Riario, who when he discovered that the piece had been artificially aged, demanded his money from di Pierfranseco. However, Michelangelo's ability was so impressive that he did not file charges of fraud. He allowed Michelangelo to withhold his fee and invited him to come to Rome to do some work at the Vatican, which turned out to be pretty good for both of them.

Michelangelo's Sleeping Cupid was later purchased by King Charles I of England, who was believed to have been destroyed in a fire in 1698. [3]

8 Reinhold Vasters

Reinhold Vasters was an accomplished German goldsmith of his own right. He was also a very accomplished counterfeiter, well, not his own right. Many of his plays have appeared in private collections and museums, and it is certain that there is more to discover.

Vasters had won prizes for his own work, including in 1851 at the Great Exhibition in London. He specialized in creating religious pieces in gold and silver. It is believed that he started creating his counterfeits to feed his family after his wife's death. [4] He seems to be particularly rich in Renaissance jewelry, with several pieces appearing in the Rothschild collection. [19659002] As of 1984, the Met Museum had uncovered 45 fakes in its own collection created by Vasters, including the Rospigliosi Cup, previously attributed to Benvenuto Cellini. But the Met is not alone. The Walters Museum acquired a ship in the form of a sea monster (picture above), probably carved by Alessandro Miseroni and mounted in gold by Hans Vermeyen in the early 17th century. However, it turned out to be another piece of Vaster.

The fakes were discovered only 60 years after Vaster's death. So there is no way to tell how many he created, which must be a bit unnerving for collectors. [19659020] 7 Elmyr De Hory

Elmyr de Hory was a scammer in every way. After the Second World War, he moved to the US to portray himself as a dispossessed Hungarian aristocrat who had survived a concentration camp and was now forced to sell his family heirlooms to survive. None of this is demonstrable or likely. It is claimed that over the course of his career he has sold more than 1,000 counterfeits, many of which have not yet been uncovered. [5]

After failing in his career as an artist, de Hory sold a pen and ink to depict a woman who "mistook" for a Picasso, and a new career was born. He began selling more Picassos, claiming that they were part of his family collection. He not only forged works by Picasso, but also added Matisse, Modigliani and Renoir.

However, suspicion was raised when he sold a "Matisse" to the Fogg Art Museum and then offered him a "Modigliani" and a "Renoir" that all looked suspiciously similar in style. In 1955 de Hory was charged with postal sales for post office breakage. He continued his career, however, moving from city to city to sell his "family heirlooms."

De Horys career ended after a partnership with Fernand Legros. Since de Hory was known in the art world today, he retired abroad, and Legros sold his paintings and took a (very) generous cut. Legros, however, was not a cautious man. He sold 56 forgeries to a single Texas oil magnate who did not like the discovery. The affair struck De Hory worldwide, and he became a celebrity. Unfortunately, the game ended on delivery, and in 1976 committed suicide instead of imprisonment.

Ironically, Elmyr de Hory's work is now sought after, and "forgeries" have begun appearing in auctions around the world, while others claim to be de Hory and pretend to be somebody else.

6 Robert Driessen

Robert Driessen began his art career by selling tourist tricks in the Netherlands painting in the style of other artists. It was not long before he painted and modeled genuine counterfeits. Driessen is best known for his copies of Alberto Giacometti, whose art can be sold for millions of dollars.

The profession of counterfeiter can be very lucrative, and Driessen became temporarily very rich. It is believed that he had made millions of dollars in his art. [6]

Robert Driessen moved to Thailand in 2005 after a warrant for his arrest had been issued in Germany. He claims he was paid to skip the land of art dealers who had made millions to sell his work and not be involved in the scandal. It is estimated that more than 1,000 Driessen counterfeits are still in circulation, most of which have not yet been discovered.

5 Tom Keating

Tom Keating was described as the most important counterfeiter of the 20th century. He specialized in the production of watercolors by Samuel Palmer and oil paintings of old masters. Keating, who had failed to become famous as an artist himself, turned his back on the art gallery system, which he considered "absolutely rotten." He believed galleries and dealers would use artists and make millions out of their efforts. while the artists pay a helping hand. His counterfeits were a means of restoring balance. [7]

Keating used "time bombs" in all his paintings and wrote rude comments on the canvas in white before he started painting. If the image was X-rayed, the messages were displayed. He also inserted obvious mistakes in the pictures and used materials that did not correspond to the period. He even painted a picture backwards! Everyone except a greedy art dealer who wanted to make a quick buck should be able to spot the fakes.

But apparently they did not, and Keating claims to have created over 2,000 pieces "100 different artists. Keating and his partner Jane Kelly were arrested in 1977 when 13 very similar watercolors by Samuel Palmer arouse suspicion. Kelly pleaded guilty. Keating's trial, however, was halted because of his poor health. He made several television appearances and wrote a book about his fake career before he died in 1984.

4 Yves Chaudron

Yves Chaudron was a French counterfeiter who probably made six copies of Mona Lisa as part of a plot to steal the original. The plan was to steal the Da Vinci masterpiece from the Louvre Wall and then sell the six copies to potential buyers, each of whom thought they had bought the stolen original. And of course the thieves would be able to keep the best painting in the world to themselves.

The plan was brilliant, because even if the counterfeits were discovered, the buyers could not report it to the police. The original was stolen in 1911 and missing for two years before it was discovered in the trunk. At that time, La Gioconda as the painting is officially called, was more famous than world-famous. The thief took it off the wall and the theft was discovered the next day.

According to rumors, the painting that was sent back to the Louvre is said to have been one of the six fakes. Nobody has ever admitted to buying one of the fake Mona Lisa and the story of the greatest art fraud has never been proven. [8] (Some even claim that Yves Chaudron never existed!) [19659020] 3 Ely Sakhai

Ely Sakhai was not an artist himself, but he used a number of artists to create fakes for him. He owned a top-notch art gallery in New York, and it is claimed that he created fakes more than 20 years before he was captured. [9]

Sakhai acquired from such famous artists authentic works of art painters such as Renoir and Gaugin perfectly legitimate, in prestigious auction houses. He then hired artists to make copies of the paintings before selling them with the original certificates of authenticity. It was not until Christie's and Sotheby's offered the same painting by Gaugin that the project collapsed.

One of the paintings sold belonged to Sakhai, the other to a private seller, who ten years earlier had bought the picture of, wait, Ely Sakhai. Oops. It was only Sakhai's bad luck that the other owner decided to sell at the same time he had unloaded his cargo.

Further investigation showed that quite a few more fakes were sold from Sakhai's gallery, and he was charged with eight frauds of wire fraud. It is believed that he has earned over $ 3.5 million from his crimes. In 2005, Sakhai pleaded guilty, was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison, and fined $ 12.5 million. He was also asked to discard the eleven authentic works of art in his possession, from which his copies had been made.

That hardly seems worth it.

2 John Myatt

John Myatt began his career selling "real" fakes for £ 150 each. However, when one of his clients returned to him and said that he had sold the painting for £ 25,000 and suggested working together, a new career was born.

Myatt is said to have created more than 200 forgeries by famous painters of the 19th and 20th centuries. Myatt and his partner were convicted of fraud charges in 1999, and Myatt was sentenced to one year in prison, although he served only four months while exchanging his pencil drawings for phone cards. When he left prison, he decided that his artistic career was over, until his detained officer ordered him to paint a family portrait, followed by prosecutors' inquiries. Another career as a prominent art maker lured. [10]

There are still an estimated 120 undiscovered Myatt counterfeits in circulation, but the artist refuses to know where he is. "I can not see who wins," he says. If he spoke, the $ 100,000 paintings on the walls of the buyers would suddenly be worthless, so everyone involved agreed to live in blissful ignorance.

John Myatt continues to work on "style-of-style" paintings such as Monet, van Gogh, and Vermeer, and his paintings are regularly offered for sale in a gallery, though they are now clearly referred to as his own work. 19659020] 1 Wolfgang Beltracchi

Wolfgang Beltracchi is probably one of the most famous art forgers of all time. He was certainly one of the richest. Beltracchi forged paintings of some of the world's most famous artists, and his works have been and are probably in some of the world's most famous galleries. One of his pictures even graced the cover of Christie's catalog, though Christie did not know it then.

A gifted painter, he spent years studying the work and styles of the painters he copied. He never copied an existing painting, but paints a picture that the artist may have painted and allows the master to be assigned a new work. While he was painting the pictures, his wife acted as a saleswoman and auctioned off "family items" and counterfeits.

The couple lived in luxury, with several houses, fast cars and even a yacht. The party was over when he created a Campendonk painting of titanium white color. When analyzing the painting, it was clear that such a pigment would not have been available at the time the painting should have been made. He and his wife were both arrested and sent to prison. Since his release, Beltracchi has resumed painting, this time with his own name. [11]

When asked if he would change anything in his life, he said, "I would never never use titan white.

Ward Hazell is a traveling writer, and occasionally a travel writer.

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