Art: The Price of Forgery

It was far too much money for an honest Dutchman to have made during the German occupation. But when Artist Hans van Meegeren was accused of collaborating and was asked to explain his quick fortune of $3,024,000, he had an answer ready. Said Van Meegeren: he had made his pile not by collaborating but by forging seven Vermeers and two Pieter de Hooches; one phony Vermeer he had patriotically palmed off on Göring (TIME, Sept. 10, 1945). To prove it, he painted still another "Vermeer," Jesus in the Temple (see cut), in his cell. It looked unlike Vermeer's cool, clean interiors,...

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