Annotations for Forger's Spell : A True Story of Vermeer, Nazis, and the Greatest Art Hoax of the Twentieth Century
Baker & Taylor
Describes how a small-time Dutch painter conned a reviled Nazi leader by creating works that impersonated those of Jan Vermeer, a seven-year deception during which the forger hid his mediocre abilities through psychologically manipulative practices.
Baker & Taylor
Profiles the dramatic art hoax through which a small-time Dutch painter conned a reviled Nazi leader by creating works that impersonated those of famed artist Jan Vermeer, a seven-year deception during which the forger hid his mediocre artistic abilities through psychologically manipulative practices. 30,000 first printing.
Han van Meegeren's story is one of the footnotes to history. Before and during the Second World War, the Dutch painter sold a number of paintings by Vermeer to high Nazi officials, especially Herman Goering. The Dutch people considered him a collaborator. Then, after the war, it was discovered that the "Vermeers" were actually the work of van Meegeren. The man who had duped Goering became a national hero. Dolnick tells the story in an engaging manner, sympathetic to the artist and the art critics who were also fooled. He explains the genius of van Meegeren's choice of Vermeer and how he convinced the Nazis the works were genuine. This is a well-referenced work accessible to the general reader. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
As riveting as a World War II thriller, The Forger's Spell is the true story of Johannes Vermeer and the small-time Dutch painter who dared to impersonate him centuries later. The con man's mark was Hermann Goering, one of the most reviled leaders of Nazi Germany and a fanatic collector of art.
It was an almost perfect crime. For seven years a no-account painter named Han van Meegeren managed to pass off his paintings as those of one of the most beloved and admired artists who ever lived. But, as Edward Dolnick reveals, the reason for the forger's success was not his artistic skill. Van Meegeren was a mediocre artist. His true genius lay in psychological manipulation, and he came within inches of fooling both the Nazis and the world. Instead, he landed in an Amsterdam court on trial for his life.
ARTnews called Dolnick's previous book, the Edgar Award-winning The Rescue Artist, "the best book ever written on art crime." In The Forger's Spell, the stage is bigger, the stakes are higher, and the villains are blacker.