Friday, November 23, 2012

The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro

Claire Roth has become a pariah in the East Coast art world because of her association with scandal-tainted artist Isaac Cullion.  She makes a meager iving creating reproductions of famous works for sale online.  When Isaac's former art dealer, Aiden Markel, approaches Claire about painting a forgery of Degas' "After the Bath," which was stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum in 1990, she agrees, because he promises her a one woman show at his gallery and $50,000.  Aiden also says that the Degas original will go back to the museum with Claire's forgery going to a collector.  But as Claire begins her research into Degas' technique and the work itself, she discovers that what Aiden gave her as the original is actually a forgery.  Claire decides not to tell Aidan what's she learned, but her revelation plunges her into her own investigation of Degas' and Gardner's relationship and makes her participation in Aidan's scheme even more murky.  The Art Forger is a fascinating introduction into the world of art forgery, including details about famous forgers and the process one goes through in painting a forgery.  The novel reminded me of the author Dani Shapiro. 

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