A question of value

The Forger’s Spell: A True Story of Vermeer, Nazis, and the Greatest Art Hoax of the Twentieth Century tells the story of Han van Meegeren, a little regarded Dutch artist who became an exemplary forger of Vermeer paintings.  From a review of the book in the Washington Post comes this quotation from van Meegeren, who raises an essential question about the valuation of art (see previous post on Jackson Pollock):

“Yesterday this picture was worth millions of guilders, and experts and art lovers would come from all over the world and pay money to see it,” [van Meegeren] declared after his exposure. “Today, it is worth nothing, and nobody would cross the street to see it for free. But the picture has not changed. What has?”


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