Art Forgery: The History of a Modern Obsession
With the recent advent of technologies that make detecting art forgeries easier, the art world has become increasingly obsessed with verifying and ensuring artistic authenticity. In this unique history, Thierry Lenain examines the genealogy of faking and interrogates the anxious, often neurotic, reactions triggered in the modern art world by these clever frauds. Lenain begins his history in the Middle Ages, when the issue of false relics and miracles often arose. But during this time, if a relic gave rise to a cult, it would be considered as genuine even if it obviously had been forged. In the Renaissance, forgery was initially hailed as a true artistic feat. Even Michelangelo, the most revered artist of the time, copied drawings by other masters, many of which were lent to him by unsuspecting collectors. Michelangelo would keep the originals himself and return the copies in their place. As Lenain shows, authenticity, as we think of it, is a purely modern concept. And the recent innovations in scientific attribution, archaeology, graphology, medical science, and criminology have all contributed to making forgery more detectable—and thus more compelling and essential to detect. He also analyzes the work of master forgers like Eric Hebborn, Thomas Keating, and Han van Meegeren in order to describe how pieces baffled the art world. Ultimately, Lenain argues that the science of accurately deciphering an individual artist’s unique characteristics has reached a level of forensic sophistication matched only by the forger’s skill and the art world’s paranoia.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
according aesthetic ancient anecdote antique appears Arnau art forgery art history artistic artwork attribution authenticity basic century certainly certiﬁcate Christ Christian collectors concept connoisseur connoisseurship context copy Corinthian bronzes cult cultural deceptive deﬁned deﬁnition difﬁcult discourse drawing early modern Edessa Eric Hebborn example experts fact false ﬁeld ﬁgure ﬁnd ﬁrst Friedlander fully ﬂedged genuine Giorgio Vasari Han van Meegeren Ibid idea identiﬁcation Image of Edessa image-relics imprint involved kind l’art label late modern less London Mandylion master means medieval Meegeren mentioned Michelangelo miraculous Museum mystiﬁcation notion object ofﬁcial original Otto Kurz painter painting paradoxical Paris particular pastiches perfect fake person portrait possible reﬂected regarded relics reliquary reliques Renaissance replica revealing Roger de Piles Roman sacred saint scientiﬁc sculpture sense signature signiﬁcant speciﬁc status story style stylistic imitation Summonte supernatural thing tion trace paradigm trans true truth typical Vasari Vermeer