Sara's Reviews > I Was Vermeer: The Rise and Fall of the Twentieth Century's Greatest Forger

I Was Vermeer by Frank Wynne
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Jan 17, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: nonfiction, history, art
Recommended to Sara by: Andrew
Recommended for: art lovers, anyone who loves a good attempt at a complicated hoax
Read in February, 2008

This true story of Han van Meegeren, a Dutch forger creating and selling "genuine" Vermeers in the 1930s and 40s makes a great book jacket summary. That's what drew me in. The writing is good and there are glossy illustrations so readers can see Vermeers and van Meegerens side by side.

The book jacket summary sketches out the arc of the story, but for me, the actual text didn't really match up. The agonizing decision to admit to forgery seemed to come pretty easily and things wrapped up pretty quickly from then on.

The chapters about Han's ingenious process for creating his forgeries were very interesting. The final chapters about Han's trial for selling a Dutch national treasure to a Nazi show Han's colorful personality and help close the story on an engaging note. Definitely worth a read for art lovers.
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