The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro

When I watched "The Thomas Crowne Affair" (1999 version) I was fascinated with  Esther Canadas' character, Anna.  Beautiful and mysterious, she's a major player in Crown's world of art reproductions and forgeries.  She oozes sex appeal and she....paints for him?  There was a whole storyline we weren't given.  

Until now.
B.A. Shapiro builds on the largest unsolved art heist in history.  Centered around the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Shapiro takes readers into Anna's world by way of Claire Roth. 

After being blacklisted by the Boston art community, Claire legally reproduces famous paintings for an online retailer to make ends meet.  She is the stereotype of the starving artist with no concern for schedules or a proper bed.  When Aiden Markel offers Claire her own show at the museum in exchange for reproducing a Degas that may or may not be a forgery, Claire accepts his conditions.  She soon begins to doubt the painting's origins and her investigations uncover a long ago hidden romance that will rock the art world and support her theories.  In a mental game of three card monte, Shapiro keeps you on your toes trying to figure out which paintings are real, which are reproductions, and which are forgeries.  Be warned:  Do not read this book if you have plans because you will not be able to put this page-turner down. 

To see the paintings that were stolen click here.
To watch a documentary on the theft check out Stolen.


Anonymous said...

Great review! Love how you link it to one of my favorite movies, The Thomas Crown Affair.

Rhiannon Johnson said...

Jonathan Keats article "For the Love of Forgery" in the Huffington Post:

Carmen said...

I thought The Art Forger was brilliant. The forgery techniques described are at the center of a book I had bought (not yet read) titled The Man Who Made Vermeers, about a famous real life art forger. Lucky coincidence!