The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Masterpiece, copy, forgery—where is the line drawn?

Felice Ficherelli wanted a Vermeer.

Well, maybe.

Felice was a contemporary of Vermeer, an obscure painter whom he might have known, or might not have known—we really have no idea. This is all we know for sure:

Could this second painting—the copy, the duplicate—have sprung from the hand of Vermeer? Could it be the magical #37? Yes, if you believe Christie’s Auction House, which auctioned that very painting yesterday for $10.2 million. (You just missed your chance to have your own Vermeer!)

Why would Vermeer have copied an obscure Italian painting? Copying was quite common then, not only as an act of training, but also for financial gain. So perhaps Tim’s theory was right—Vermeer was a copier.

But why would a painting—a painting that absolutely no one disputes is a copy of someone else’s painting!—fetch $10 million?

That’s a good question.

Via Jason Kottke, This Is Not a Vermeer ™ — The Message — Medium

So far (part two) it's an interesting article about authenticity, duplicity and duplication. What, exactly, makes a copy of painting worth $10,000,000, and where you too, can get your own copy of a painting for way less then $10,000,000.

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