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The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro

The Art Forger (original 2012; edition 2013)

by B.A. Shapiro

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1,0601167,917 (3.76)95
Title:The Art Forger
Authors:B.A. Shapiro
Info:Thorndike Press (2013), Edition: Lrg, Hardcover, 532 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

Work details

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

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  1. 00
    The Tragedy of Arthur by Arthur Phillips (Lirmac)
    Lirmac: Both novels deal with forgery, but The Tragedy of Arthur makes notions of the false and the real the thematic heart of the book.
  2. 00
    Catch Me if You Can by Frank W. Abagnale (BookshelfMonstrosity)
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    The Careful Use of Compliments by Alexander McCall Smith (mamzel)

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Lots of fun to read! It reminded me of White Collar (USA t.v. show) and I went through it quickly. I think the characters could have had more depth but it was completely entertaining and I won't begrudge it a fourth star for that reason. ( )
  Jackie_Sassa | Nov 20, 2015 |
The author does a terrific job of weaving an excellent mystery around the high-end art world. She also does a great job of explaining the technical and historical aspects of painting in a way that a non art enthusiast (such as myself) can understand. ( )
  grandpahobo | Sep 24, 2015 |
A Little Slow! Almost twenty-five years after the infamous art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum―still the largest unsolved art theft in history―one of the stolen Degas paintings is delivered to the Boston studio of a young artist. Claire Roth has entered into a Faustian bargain with a powerful gallery owner by agreeing to forge the Degas in exchange for a one-woman show in his renowned gallery. But as she begins her work, she starts to suspect that this long-missing masterpiece―the very one that had been hanging at the Gardner for one hundred years―may itself be a forgery. The Art Forger is a thrilling novel about seeing―and not seeing―the secrets that lie beneath the canvas. ( )
  levren | Sep 8, 2015 |
This book is well researched and provides plenty of information on the process and history of art forgery, as well as offering a believable picture of the workings of museums, private galleries and art dealers. This is its sole redeeming feature; its plot and characters are standard boilerplate. ( )
  Lirmac | Aug 18, 2015 |
On St. Patrick’s Day in 1990 thieves talked their way past a security guard and into the Isabella Gardiner Museum in Boston, making away with over $500 million dollars worth of art. The three main pieces stolen were a Vermeer, a Rembrandt and a Degas, to this day none of the art has been recovered and a $5 million rewards still stands for information leading to the recovery of one or all of the pieces.
Claire Roth is the poster child for the term “starving artist”. She has been trying to establish herself on the Boston art scene but her “history” is holding her back, so she earns her income specializing in Degas reproductions for Reproductions.com. Knowing her talent in reproducing Degas works a gallery owner offers her the chance of a lifetime. As is often the case when it seems too good to be true it is usually, indeed too good to be true.

I adored this book. I recently visited Boston, the MFA and the Gardiner Museum so reading the visual description of Boston itself and the Gardiner specifically was like walking along the streets again. Ms. Shapiro obviously did her research for this book. Through the use of letters to her niece, Ms. Shapiro intertwines historical fact about Isabella Stewart Gardiner with a clever fictional tale of her relationship with Edgar Degas. Then takes the reader seamlessly back to Claire and the Degas “copy” that is shipped to her apartment.

This book has a little bit of everything: thriller, art history, Boston history, a love story and, what could almost be described as a “how-to” on art forgery. Isabella Stewart Gardiner’s story and the Museum robbery stories are interesting enough if they stand alone, but Ms. Shapiro manages to weave them masterfully into her book without having them take over her own story. If I had one critique about this book, it would be about Clair herself. Don’t get me wrong - I understand her honesty was integral to the plot, but my goodness, I kept thinking “that girl needs to learn when to keep her mouth shut!”
( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
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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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A painting is above all a product of the artist's imagination; it must never be a copy.
--Edgar Degas
To Dan, who never gave up
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I step back and scrutinize the paintings.
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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2 15
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