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The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro
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The Art Forger (original 2012; edition 2013)

by B.A. Shapiro

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85110810,545 (3.8)75
Member:coolmama
Title:The Art Forger
Authors:B.A. Shapiro
Info:Thorndike Press (2013), Edition: Lrg, Hardcover, 532 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, finished

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

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Showing 1-5 of 110 (next | show all)
The Art Forger is an absolute must-read for anyone with an interest in fine art. Shapiro weaves a wonderful work of fiction around a real event, the 1990 robbery at the Isabelle Stewart Gardener Museum in Boston during which 13 works of art totaling an estimated value of US$500 million were stolen. As the robbery remains unsolved to this day, it is the perfect vehicle for this speculative work of fiction.

The narrative shifts seamlessly between Isabelle's life as an art collector in the late 19th century and the life of Claire, a young modern day fine arts graduate whose naivety allows her to be unwittingly lured into the world of art forgery. The techniques used by forgers make for fascinating reading, but it is the reference to various works of art and artists that had me scrambling for reference books and the internet to increase my (very limited) knowledge of this fascinating subject. A thoroughly enjoyable read! ( )
  Hanneri | Aug 28, 2014 |
I enjoyed this novel as I am an art history lover and was formally studying it for a while. The Art Forger is basically about an artist who also makes her living by painting reproductions for a company that sells them, and is asked by a prominent gallery owner to reproduce a Degas painting that apparently is one of the many that had been stolen from the Isabelle Gardner Stewart Museum some time back (this heist is a true incident. As such, it takes place in Boston and I especially enjoyed knowing that I most likely will visit this museum in the near future, as my oldest will be attending college in Boston this fall. There's a love story in here, though, that was not quite convincing, or perhaps it is just because the protagonist was not able to see through her lover's flaws. Overall, a good read. ( )
  ValerieAndBooks | Aug 7, 2014 |
Absolutely outstanding! ( )
  Corduroy7 | Aug 6, 2014 |
Wow. Just wow. This book had me completely hooked from the very first page. The fictionalized account of an historical event is enough to get my attention but to layer on the current day storyline along with the flipping back and forth between the components of the story sucked me in. I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish this! I did see the end coming, though probably not as soon as I should have. ( )
  janeycanuck | Jul 27, 2014 |
Claire Roth, an aspiring artist in Boston, has been a bit of an outcast in the art world lately and is working making copies for Reproductions.com to make ends meet. She is approached by Aiden Markel, the owner of well-known gallery Markel G, with a proposition she's unsure she can take: make a copy of one of the Degas paintings stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in the notorious 1990 heist, and he'll return to the original to the museum as well as make her name by offering her a show.

The level of detail about art and forgery included as Claire researches the painting and talks about what she does for her job at "Repro" lend a credibility to this thriller about an unsolved mystery. I simultaneously learned a lot and was left wanting to read and learn more about the Gardner heist and art forgery. I read fast, as the narrative moves along and I found myself unsure to the last about the "goodness" of some of the characters. Claire impressed me and irritated me by turns, as she was clearly smart about art but not about some of her relationships, and her naivete was grating. Flashbacks to events of three years earlier and insertions of (fictitious) letters from Isabella to her niece Amelia rounded out the story nicely. ( )
  bell7 | Jul 21, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 110 (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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To Dan, who never gave up
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I step back and scrutinize the paintings.
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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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Boston painter Claire Roth has survived financially by painting reproductions, so when influential gallery owner Aiden Markel arrives with a bizarre proposal--her own show if she will forge a copy of a Degas, one of the pictures stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum--she says yes. As she works, Claire and Aiden become lovers, but she doesn't tell him about her discovery that the stolen Degas is itself a copy. This knowledge is Claire's lifeline when the finished forgery is discovered, Aiden and then Claire are both arrested, and only she can save them.… (more)

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