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

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Mariner Books, 2009 M07 15 - 352 pages
The unvarnished story of the world’s most famous art forger and Europe’s pre-WWII black market, told in “profoundly researched, focused, absorbing depth” (The New Yorker).

Han van Meegeren became famous worldwide at the end of World War II as the struggling Dutch artist who forged Vermeers—one of which was sold to Hermann Goering in mockery of the Nazis. But as Jonathan Lopez unveils in this revelatory biography, Van Meegeren was neither an unappreciated artist nor antifascist hero. Instead, he emerges here as an ingenious crook who plied the forger’s trade with astonishing success—a sort of talented Mr. Ripley armed with a paintbrush.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents from dozens of archives, Lopez explores a network of illicit commerce that operated across Europe in the 1920s and ’30s: Not only was Van Meegeren a key player in that high-stakes game, landing fakes with famous collectors such as Andrew Mellon, but he and his associates later cashed in on the Nazi occupation.

The Man Who Made Vermeers is a long-overdue unraveling of Van Meegeren’s legend and a deliciously detailed story of deceit in the art world.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - etxgardener - LibraryThing

Intersting & extremely wel-researched story of Han van Meegeren who became famous for forging Vermeers and selling them to the Nazis during World War II Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - CasaBooks - LibraryThing

Another small part of history that crosses so many areas and is so unknown. Fascinating is the best word I can use to describe these types of books. Fascinating. Read in 2011. Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Jonathan Lopez’s writings on art and history appear frequently in Apollo: The International Magazine of Art and Antiques, published in London. The Man Who Made Vermeers grew out of an article that originally appeared in Dutch in De Groene Amsterdammer. Lopez lives with his wife, an art historian and critic, in Manhattan.

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