Posts Tagged ‘Van Meegeren’

The Revenge of a Forger

April 26th, 2010

Van Meegeren’s Fake Vermeers
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam
12 May – 22 August 2010

from the museum website:
The Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen presents Van Meegeren’s Fake Vermeers, an exhibition of the famous forgeries of Han van Meegeren. Van Meegeren craftily exploited art historians’ desire to discover early works by Johannes Vermeer. During a famous court case in which Van Meegeren was accused of Nazi collaboration, he admitted that he had forged old master paintings, including several Vermeers. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen had acquired one of the fake Vermeer from Van Meegeren. The exhibition explores Van Meegeren’s technique, his masterpieces and his downfall.
Included are approximately ten forgeries by Van Meegeren  most in the style of Vermeer, although there are some forgeries of Frans Hals, Pieter de Hooch and Gerard ter Borch.

Van Meegeren’s life as a forger is further illuminated through a documentary film and objects from his studio.

Van Meegeren’s technique remains exceptional. For his masterpiece The Supper at Emmaus, Van Meegeren used a genuine seventeenth-century canvas and historical pigments. He bound the pigments with bakelite, which hardened when heated to produce a surface very similar to that of a seventeenth-century painting. This technique, combined with Van Meegeren’s choice of subject matter and composition, was an important factor in convincing so many people of the authenticity of his works. Van Meegeren created the missing link between Vermeer’s early and late works. The exhibition at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen sheds new light on Van Meegeren’s technique, resulting from new technical research undertaken by the Rijksmuseum.

To see something new, go back to the sources

March 17th, 2009
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Essential Vermeer interview with Jonathan Lopez, author of the The Man Who Made Vermeers: Unvarnishing the Legend of Master Forger Han van Meegeren.

Han van Meegeren, the man who made Vermeers for decades, is justifiably the most written-about forger of all times. The most recent and original book on the topic is written by New York art historian Jonathan Lopez. Lopez casts new light on an old story by  fine tuning the results of years of patient research.

Two key points of the book are Van Meegeren’s hitherto underplayed Nazi sympathies and the mind set which allowed the greatest forger of all times to dupe the leading art specialists of his time. In order to explain the chasm between today’s unanimous view of Van Meegeren’s fakes as unsightly imitations and their original enthusiastic reception as true masterworks by Vermeer, Lopez reveals that “a fake doesn’t necessarily succeed or fail according to the fidelity with which it replicates the distant past but on the basis of its power to sway the contemporary mind.”

Jonathan opened up to an interview in which he explains what went into the book’s making and some fascinating side thoughts on Van Meegeren the man, whose brilliant darkness is probably better understood by Lopez than anyone else.

Van Meegeren conference at MFA

February 11th, 2009
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Vermeer and Van Meegeren: The Real and the Faux
Jonathan Lopez, author of The Man Who Made Vermeers: Unvarnishing the Legend of Master Forger Han van Meegeren, and Ronni Baer, William and Ann Elfers Senior Curator European Paintings

Wed, Feb 25, 7 pm
Remis Auditorium

Dutch art forger Han van Meegeren became a folk hero at the end of World War II when he confessed to selling a fake Vermeer to Hermann Goering. Author Jonathan Lopez and curator Ronni Baer discuss the extravagantly sordid life of the world’s most notorious art forger and what he did to the image of the Vermeer we know and love.

Book signing follows.

MFA members, seniors and students $15: nonmembers/general admission $18.
<http://www.mfa.org/calendar/event.asp?eventkey=36897&date=2/25/2009>

Van Meegeren Lecture in Washington

December 18th, 2008

I would not miss the lecture or the book.

The Man Who Made Vermeers:
Unvarnishing the Legend of Master Forger Han van Meegeren

Sunday, January 11, 2009, 2:00 p.m.
East Building Concourse Auditorium, The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Jonathan Lopez discusses aspects of his recently published book, The Man Who Made Vermeers: Han van Meegeren’s Life in Forgery. Book signing to follow. Sunday Lectures at the National Gallery are free and open to the public on a first-come-first-serve basis.

BTW, The Man Who Made Vermeers is fifth of the 10 Amazon Best Books of 2008 in the Arts & Photography section. Well deserved.