A History of Art Forgery

Before the discovery of modern forgery detection methods, many forged works formerly considered to be of ancient origin were held in high respect in many great museums and collections.

Herm of Dionysos

   Herm of Dionysos, god of wine; an excellent Roman copy originally believed to be a Greek original. It was only recognized as being of Roman origin and of the school of Phydias after a recent discovery of authentic Greek bronze figures from the Calabrian Sea, and their comparison to this copy.

Etruscan sarcophagus

   This work was originally thought to be an Etruscan sarcophagus of the sixth century BC, but was finally revealed to have been a fake. Its discovery was partially because the nudity of the male figure was unprecedented in works of the period to which it was attributed; as was the nineteenth century underwear of the woman. It was not until 1935 that it was removed from exhibition at the British Museum.

Etruscan Warriors

   Three “Etruscan” warriors, sixth century B.C., at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Admired for decades as exemplars of the spirited and bellicose Etruscan civilization, the pieces were found to be prime examples of modern Italian sculpture of the 1910's and 1920's.

Hoving, Thomas. False Impressions –
The Hunt for Big-Time Art Fakes. New York Simon & Schuster,1996. ISBN: 0-684-81134-0

Intro  (1)  (2)  (3)  (4)  (5)  (6)  (7)  (8)  (9)
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Look for updates to this exhibit every week.

Also visit the companion to this exhibit: FABULOUS FAKES

Special thanks to people without whom this exhibition would not have been possible: Thea Eichler, NRCA; Billie Tucker, New Rochelle Library; Ivar Hyden, Backstreet Gallery and all the contributing artists.

Additional information about the availability of Fabulous Fakes, the History of Art Forgery or any of the works in the exhibition may be obtained by contacting The New Rochelle Council on The Arts by email or by calling 212-529-2025. More information on the NRCA can be found by connecting to the internet and clicking here.


Fabulous Fakes and A History of Art Forgery © J. L. Dolice, 2001, 2003.

All images in this presentation may not be copied, stored in any electronic retrieval device or used in any way without permission in writing. ISBN 0-935901-51-5.

Art Forgery Art Haus

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