Artworks have in the past been attributed to Johannes Vermeer (1632 – 1675) as they have been similar in composition, style, technique, materials and subject matter. Some of these were later de-attributed for a number of reasons. The effect that this can have can be detrimental to the person who purchased it believing that it was a genuine Vermeer. On the other hand the person who bought a painting by a lesser known artist for a small sum and it later turns out to be a Vermeer worth millions would only be too pleased at his new found wealth. The effect on museum entrants may also be affected as some people may only visit to see a Vermeer painting and may be put off visiting if it turns out that it is a fake.
When someone admits to faking artworks supposedly by famous artists every artwork by that artist is looked at in a different light and some are de-attributed if the examiner is in doubt. It is likely that it is then re-attributed by another person with the relevant knowledge which generally results in chaos and confusion within the art world.
This eBook looks at some of the cases of Vermeer artworks that have been caught up in the chaotic world of artist forgeries.
About the author
Zara Ellis has a B.A. (Hons) in Antiques, History & Collecting from Southampton Solent University.
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