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The forger's spell : a true story of Vermeer, nazis, and the greatest art hoax o
Edward Dolnick
Adult Nonfiction ND1662.M43 D65 2008

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Starred Review. Edgar-winner Dolnick (The Rescue Artist) delves into the extraordinary story of Han van Meegeren (1889-1947), who made a fortune in German-occupied Holland by forging paintings of the 17th-century Dutch painter Vermeer. The discovery of a new Vermeer was just what the beleaguered Dutch needed to lift their spirits, and van Meegeren's Christ at Emmaus had already been bought by the Boymans Museum in Rotterdam in 1937 for $2.6 million. Collectors, critics and the public were blind to the clumsiness of this work and five other Vermeers done by van Meegeren. Dolnick asks how everyone could have been fooled, and he answers with a fascinating analysis of the forger's technique and a perceptive discussion of van Meegeren's genius at manipulating people. Van Meegeren was unmasked in 1945 by one of his clients, Hermann Goering. Later accused of treason for collaboration, he saved himself from execution and even became a hero for having swindled Goering. Dolnick's compelling look at how a forger worked his magic leads to one sad conclusion: there will always be eager victims waiting to be duped. Illus. not seen by PW. (June 24) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

In 1945, just after the end of World War II in Europe, a Dutch detective looking for artwork looted by the Nazis and for Nazi collaborators questioned a high-living Dutch artist named Han van Meegeren. Had van Meegeren, the detective inquired, been involved in the sale to Hermann G^ring of a priceless Vermeer painting? Upon further questioning, van Meegeren confessed that he had painted this Vermeer himself, along with other Vermeers then in the collections of several major Dutch art museums, and so began the unraveling of "the greatest art hoax of the twentieth century." While other books--including Frank Wynne's I Was Vermeer and Lord Kilbracken's Van Meegeren: Master Forger--have covered this intriguing case of forgery, greed, and detection, this account by Dolnick, author of the Edgar Award-winning The Rescue Artist, is especially strong in plot development and characterization. It also has a unique point of view: that van Meegeren was not a genius and master forger but rather his "true distinction was [that] he is perhaps the only forger whose most famous works a layman would immediately identify as fake." Recommended for public and academic library art and true-crime collections. (Illustrations not seen.)--Marcia Welsh, Dartmouth Coll. Libs., Hanover, NH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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