Paintings of the Week

The beautiful painting above is by Vermeer; and it could only be by Vermeer.  Even if you didn’t recognise the actual painting, there’s no other artist who paints domestic scenes with such care and lyrical attention to detail.  Of course I’m no expert. If I were an expert I might think that this

is by Vermeer.

In fact, it’s a fake painted by Hans Van Meegeren, one of the great forgers of all time, who was an inspiration for me when I wrote my radio thriller The Art of Deception.  It’s an incompetent and annoying piece, which doesn’t look a bit like Vermeer; but that doesn’t mean Van Meegeren was an idiot. Quite the opposite; his early Vermeer forgeries were very skilful, and looked pretty close to the real thing. But ‘experts’ dismissed them as forgeries. And so cunningly he invented a whole new style of paintings which he called early Vermeer; and his forgeries were the only surviving examples of this style.

It worked! Van Meegeren made a fortune, and he even sold a fake Vermeer to Goering.

But nothing can beat the real thing:

The Procuress

Girl with a Pearl Earring

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