Saturday, August 11, 2012
The Art Forger, A Novel - A Review
The Art Forger, a Novel, which will be released in late October. is a delightful novel of intrigue that involves questions of forgery, the still unsolved March 1990 heist from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, a blackballed artist whom nobody believed had been the actual painter of a purported masterpiece by her lover, an improbable artistic triumph, and the imagined relationship between Gardner and Edgar Degas. The theme of the story seams to question whether experts and art lovers see what they want to see and authentic works of suspect origin to protect the name of a venerable institution or from a more base perception to protect a valuable asset.
I found the novel particularly fascinating given the recent exposes in Vanity Fair and the New York papers regarding the questioned provenance of several paintings sold by a well known esteemed gallery that has since shuttered its doors. This story resonates because we all know that even the most well regarded experts have been fooled. It makes one wonder how many museums unknowingly display wrongly attributed works.
While the novel starts off a bit slow, within a few chapters it picks up and reeled me in like a prize fish. This is a great story and I can see this ultimately made into a successful film.