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. thousands of individuals appreciate his paintings, yet are these masterpieces all real? To at the present time, the overseas paintings global struggles to split the genuine Van Goghs from the pretend ones, and the main query addressed during this ebook is what could take place to artwork specialists after they publicly voice their reviews on a selected Van Gogh (or not). the tale starts off with paintings professional J.B. de l. a. Faille who stumbled on to his personal bewilderment that he had integrated dozens of faux Van Goghs in his 1928 catalogue raisonné. He desired to set the list instantly, 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 plenty of many years of the 20 th century. In his attention-grabbing account of the fight for the true Vincent van Gogh, Tromp exhibits the fewer appealing aspect of the artwork global. His reconstruction of many such confrontations yields a number of fascinating and occasionally bewildering insights into the fates of artwork specialists once they carry unwelcome information.

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32 The pieces in International Studio, Cicerone, La Renaissance de l’Art, and La revue de l’art were more descriptions than fully developed, critical reviews. A. Plasschaert (1874-1941), or beginners like W. M. Hammacher (1897-2002), and W. Jos. de Gruyter (1899-1979). P. Bremmer. One explanation is that Bremmer had been thanked in the catalogue for his assistance. On the other hand, Bremmer could have encouraged others to write a review, but no one from his circle took up the pen. Bremmer In 1928, at age 57, Petrus Bremmer (1871-1956) could look back on a successful career in the art world.

It happened with his own encouragement but, probably more often, it also happened without his having to urge anyone to defend the authenticity of the Wacker Van Goghs. They acted almost the way a zealot serves the pope or a courtier his prince: not at his order but in his spirit. indd 56 an eye for an eye 29-5-2010 15:23:5529-5-2010 15:23:55 2 True colors At the time of writing − the beginning of the twenty-first century − there isn’t a single expert who is willing to speak out in defense of art dealer Otto Wacker’s Van Gogh paintings.

It never went beyond a threat, but it was enough to alert the journalists. And there was plenty to write about. The amount of money involved was considerable; prices circulating in the press ranged from 25,000 to 75,000 Reichsmark per painting. The Berlin police became involved and began holding interrogations in Germany and the Netherlands, and this was before any party had filed a single complaint against Wacker. It all had to do with dissension in the art world. One person insisted that all the paintings were fakes while another said they were all genuine, and yet another that some were genuine and some were fake, which meant there was no agreement over the number and identity of the contested works.

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