Noah Charney’s The Art of Forgery is a comprehensive account of forgery in the western art world. He addresses forgers who copy to be closer to their idols and heroes, forgers who copy for profit, forgers who copy for their own pride and to make a name for themselves. Charney does a good job of explaining the motivation of these artists to copy the works of others rather than creating their own original work. He also explores the boundary between “copy,” or “imitating,” and “forgery.”
The best part of this book is the side-by-side images of the original and forged works. Charney is also deeply involved in the art world, and his comfort with the history of art shows in the text. Readers who are not as familiar with the history of art would probably want to read this text with a reference work or Google close at hand.
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