Tuesday, January 16, 2018
The book reads in places like a whodunnit, compelling for details of how forgers work (particularly, how Van Meegeren discovered he could quickly dry and harden fresh oil paint by mixing it with Bakelite and baking his new paintings in a slow oven); for the story it tells of competitive art looting between Hitler, Goering, and other top Nazis; and for its detailed chronicling of Van Meegeren's initial success as a forger, his unmasking, trial, and downfall, and his later rehabilitation in the popular mind as he came to be seen as a hero for fooling Goering. Having said all that, The Forger's Spell is perhaps most rewarding for the answers it suggests to perhaps the most interesting question about forgeries that have been revealed; how do clearly bad paintings take in people who really should know better?
Well researched and well written. Recommended.
Monday, January 15, 2018
Sunday, January 14, 2018
On January 4, the first blooms appeared on the delicate dwarf cyclamen we have growing in back of the house under a Japanese maple--Cyclamen coum. The flower stalks stand only about two inches high. This tiny cyclamen typically blooms anywhere from late December to early January, so, that was in line with its usual pattern.