More than seventy years ago in 1937 the painting “De Emmaüsgangers” (the disciples at Emmaus), supposedly painted by the famous 17th-century artist Johannes Vermeer, popped up from nowhere. The canvas was bought by the Boymans Van Beuningen museum in Rotterdam. Not until 1945 did Han van Meegeren admit to the forgery. It was a scandal in the art world that ruined many a reputation among art experts.
The master forger worked behind the offices and storage rooms of a painter and decorator firm at 226 Sumatrastraat from 1920, producing brand-new old masters. The painting “De kantwerkster” (the lace-maker) after the style of Vermeer also became famous. As well as the creation of seemingly old paintings, this murky trade involved concocting a watertight provenance to tempt potential buyers.
A book entitled “The Man Who Made Vermeers” by Jonathan Lopez will shortly be published in New York.
Source: De Groene Amsterdammer, 29 August 2008