January 13, 2022
Irony strikes when fraudulent works of art become nearly as famous as originals, as it was seen with a painting referred to as the ‘Hekking Mona Lisa’. The ‘Mona Lisa’ dupe is said to have been created in the early 17th century, and it landed in the hands of Raymond Hekking, a French antiques dealer, in the ’60s. The owner has been adamant that he holds the original painting and has refused anyone’s claims that it’s a fake, despite the apparent original residing in the Louvre.
The renowned Leonardo da Vinci painting was so perfectly recreated that it’s stumped even the finest of proficients, and hasn’t even fazed collectors. While Hekking didn’t budge on his statement that it’s the original, Christie’s Auction House was vocal about the ‘Hekking Mona Lisa’ and it still sold for $3.4 million.
IT’S OFTEN SAID THAT IMITATION IS THE SINCEREST FORM OF FLATTERY, BUT WHEN THE INCENTIVE OF THE CREATOR SWITCHES FROM A PASSION FOR THE CRAFT TO PROFIT, THEN ADMIRATION GOES OUT THE WINDOW. IT IS NO EASY FEAT TO PASS OFF YOUR WORK AS A FAMOUS CREATION, ESPECIALLY WHEN THERE IS VAST RECOGNITION FOR THE PIECE. YET, THE ART WORLD HAS OFTEN SEEN METICULOUS FORGERIES.
BY MINTING DIGITAL TWIN NFTS FROM THE PHYSICAL ARTWORK, TRUE AUTHENTICITY AND PROVENANCE CAN BE LINKED TO EACH INDIVIDUAL MASTERPIECE. VISIT ORIGYN ART TO UNDERSTAND THE SOLUTION.
An L.A.-based art dealer, Tatiana Khan, managed to maneuver a $2 million sale after writing a measly $1,000 check. Khan fabricated a story about a stolen Picasso that urgently needed to be replaced in order to convince a talented painter to produce a copy. She then went ahead and sold the copycat artwork for millions, notifying the buyer that it was worth roughly $5 million. It took the buyers a few years, but they ultimately discovered that they sadly didn’t acquire the original 1901 painting ‘La Femme Au Chapeau Bleu’. Khan was then handed a hefty lawsuit.
The most expensive piece of art was hanging in the luxurious yacht of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman after being auctioned off for a colossal amount — $450 million. The prince believed he was admiring Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Salvator Mundi’ until it was discovered to be a fake. Professionals of the Prado Museum, as well as the Louvre, have confirmed the piece isn’t an original but assured viewers it was created during the same time period alongside his supervision. It was revealed that the artwork may have been created by an apprentice of Vinci, but not entirely by the famous artist’s hands themselves.
In the case of British artist John Myatt, inspiration and talent led to his career in forgery. He aspired to be a prosperous working artist but was struggling to make ends meet, even with his profound talents. He began creating works emulating the styles and techniques of famous artists such as Van Gogh, Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse.
With his artistic aptitude, he quickly discovered that even specialists couldn’t differentiate his work from originals. With this in mind, Myatt saw a fruitful prospect and began working alongside swindler John Drewe to forge over 200 paintings that were mostly sold at high-end auction houses. The forgery brought in over 165,000 euros before Myatt was arrested in 1995.
The art world was witness to one of the largest scandals back in the ’40s when Dutch artist Han van Meegeren mastered painting fraud. Similar to John Myatt, the adept artist wasn’t getting the recognition he felt he deserved so he leaned on his imitative skills and recreated prominent works from the 17th-century. Meegeren sold his compositions to esteemed representatives and they hung them without batting an eye. He made many sales totaling somewhere around $30 million, but his most notable to date is his copy of ‘Supper at Emmaus’ by Vermeer, which led him to his ultimate arrest in the spring of 1945.
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