A Real Van Gogh: How the Art World Struggles with Truth by Henk Tromp

By Henk Tromp

Vincent van Gogh’s work and drawings are fabulously dear. hundreds of thousands of individuals respect his paintings, yet are these masterpieces all actual? To this present day, the foreign artwork global struggles to split the genuine Van Goghs from the faux ones, and the major query addressed during this ebook is what could occur to artwork specialists once they publicly voice their reviews on a specific Van Gogh (or not). the tale starts off with paintings professional J.B. de los angeles Faille who stumbled on to his personal bewilderment that he had incorporated dozens of pretend Van Goghs in his 1928 catalogue raisonné. He desired to set the list directly, yet met with powerful resistance from artwork purchasers, creditors, critics, politicians and others, marking the start of a fierce conflict of pursuits that had seized the paintings international for lots of a long time of the 20th century. In his interesting account of the fight for the real Vincent van Gogh, Tromp indicates the fewer beautiful facet of the artwork global. His reconstruction of many such confrontations yields a bunch of interesting and infrequently bewildering insights into the fates of paintings specialists once they convey unwelcome information.

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Additional info for A Real Van Gogh: How the Art World Struggles with Truth

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Exactly what did he focus on, and did he really study all the works a second time? We don’t know. But we do know something about how he dealt with one Wacker Van Gogh: Self-Portrait at the Easel (F 523). Otto Wacker offered the canvas through a front man to director J. Siedenberg of the Frans Buffa & Zonen gallery of Amsterdam in February 1928. Siedenberg had misgivings. W. 54 The canvases were almost identical in terms of composition, yet they differed greatly in color and execution. The execution of the Wacker painting was weaker.

16 De la Faille’s proposal almost turned the prevailing practice of issuing certificates of authenticity on its head. Experts now worked independently for the most part, but De la Faille wanted them all to work within one organization. Experts set their rates on the basis of market value (a “Johannes Vermeer” certificate was more expensive than an “Abraham Teniers” because it was based on the price that the authenticated work would command), but the bureau would charge a fixed fee. Experts served the interests of their clients, but with the intervention of the bureau they would have to be totally impartial.

While the rule is exemplary in its simplicity, there are factors that can sap the rule of all its power, and the Wacker Van Gogh case had them in spades. The number of persons and official bodies that had anything to do with the canvases only increased as 1928 drew to a close. By November, more than half of the 30 paintings had passed through the hands of dozens of art dealers and private collectors. A few dealers had been warned by De la Faille and had sold the paintings back, but not all of them succeeded in recovering the damage wrought by Otto Wacker.

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