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The Art Forger by B. A. Shapiro
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The Art Forger (2012)

by B. A. Shapiro

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Very exciting! ( )
  gahoward67 | Jun 12, 2016 |
The Art Forger - B.A. Shapiro
2 stars

On March 18, 1990, thirteen works of art worth over $500 million were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. This is true. The paintings have never been found. The thieves haven’t been caught. These factual statements are the only believable plot points in this work of fiction.

The story has essentially three plot lines. The contemporary story is about Claire Roth, a talented, but struggling young artist. Claire is painting reproductions for a meager living because she has been black-listed by the Boston art establishment. The reader is treated to intermittent flashbacks of the extreme stupidity and disastrous love affair of her recent past which apparently explains her currently desperate situation. She knows she has talent. She’s desperate for a good gallery showing, so she agrees to paint a copy of one of Isabella Gardner’s famous stolen paintings. She is copying from the real painting which is delivered to her studio by a ‘friend’ who will not reveal how he acquired it. Does this make sense? I simply couldn’t believe it. Nor could I believe the third plot line which was revealed through a series of letters supposedly written by Isabella Gardner in the late 19th century.

Mysteries and thrillers are often based on unlikely scenarios. I’ve been known to buy into them and read non-stop ‘til dawn. I swallowed The DaVinci Code in one bite. But, Robert Landon is smart. He stays one step ahead of the bad guys. Claire Roth doesn’t even come close. This book did interest me in the Gardner Museum theft and in the lives of famous forgers. I think I’ll look for some nonfiction on those subjects.

( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
“In the early morning hours of March 18, 1990, a pair of thieves disguised as Boston police officers entered the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and roamed the Museum’s galleries, stealing thirteen works of art.”

“It remains the largest unsolved art heist in history.”

-The Gardner Museum Heist

Claire Roth is a talented young artist, but after being involved in a scandal, involving a past boyfriend, she has been black-balled by the art community. She now paints reproductions. When an old friend and gallery owner, approaches her, to forge a painting, he offers her a chance to have her own, one-woman show, which will gain her the respect she yearns for. The glitch is: the Degas painting that she is asked to copy, appears to be one of the stolen artworks, from the Gardner theft.
This sends Claire down a very dangerous path, which involves local police, the FBI and possible prison time.
There is mystery, intrigue, romance and gorgeous descriptions of art and the process of creating art. The author seems to know her stuff. The novel begins to stretch credibility in the last third or so, but not quite enough to sink the story. A good, old-fashioned yarn. ( )
3 vote msf59 | Apr 11, 2016 |
52 Weeks 52 Books 2014.46

Thoroughly enjoyable audio read. ( )
  yvonne.sevignykaiser | Apr 2, 2016 |
Good idea, and great research and info on reproduction painting and forgeries. BUT this book was so boring and disconnected that i had to force myself to finish. I had no empathy for the overly naive heroine, who bordered on stupid. And I felt no connection between her and any of the other characters. It didn't really grab my attention till page 80 and then it just dragged on and on until the end, which had a minor pickup. All in all, I didn't feel that it was worth reading. ( )
  mashiaraqcs | Mar 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 150 (next | show all)


Readers looking for insight into the Gardner heist will have to go elsewhere. But readers seeking an engaging novel about artists and art scandals will find “The Art Forger” rewarding for its skillful balance of brisk plotting, significant emotional depth and a multi-layered narration rich with a sense of moral consequence.

 
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Epigraph
A painting is above all a product of the artist's imagination; it must never be a copy.
--Edgar Degas
Dedication
To Dan, who never gave up
First words
I step back and scrutinize the paintings.
Quotations
A painting is above all a product of the artist's imagination; it must never be a copy. --- Edgar Degas
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Book description
A Degas painting stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum is delivered to the Boston studio of a young artist. A few years after suffering personal disappointment from her artist/lover which also cast her reputation away, a handsome suave art gallery owner enters her life with an intriguing proposition to help the museum, benefit mankind and recover her career aspirations at the same time.
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An artist whose reputation has been tarnished stumbles on a piece of art that disappeared twenty-five years ago and agrees to forge it for a gallery owner, until she realizes that the art she is forging may itself be a forgery.

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