Wook Kim
June 13, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Forger's Spell

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Edward Dolnick
publisher
HarperCollins
genre
Nonfiction, Art/Fine Art

We gave it a B+

He was an artist of spectacularly modest skills, as the critics of his day often reminded him. Yet in a 15-year-long exhibition of imagination, daring, and wounded pride, Dutch painter Han van Meegeren perpetrated the most spectacular art hoaxes of the last century: One of his creations, a fake Vermeer, ended up in the private collection of Nazi leader Hermann Goering. Moving beyond a mere retelling of a remarkable crime, Edward Dolnick adds brushstrokes of fine detail, examining the cult of Vermeer, the unlikely rivalry between Hitler and Goering, and, most interestingly, the peculiar psyche of the master art forger in The Forger’s Spell. B+

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