Biographer Giorgio Vasari
From several biographical sources it is known that Michelangelo forged ancient Roman sculptures. He created a new marble sculpture, then smashed it, buried it in the garden and after some time declared that he had found Roman antiques.
A few years later, Cardinal Raffael Riario discovered a forgery and demanded his money back from antique dealer Baldassare del Milanese. He took the Sleeping Cupid back and sold it much more as the original Michelangelo, since by this time Michelangelo had become the most sought-after sculptor.
Biographer Giorgio Vasari wrote: “Michelangelo also reproduced the drawings of various old masters in such a way that he could be mistaken, for he aged and smoked with smoke and various other things so that they really seemed old and, when comparing them with the authentic ones, distinguish one from another was impossible. And he did this only in order to return the reproduced ones to get genuine drawings that delighted him with the perfection of art and which he tried to surpass with his work, which he gained the widest fame. ”
In 1506, Albrecht Dürer sued a certain Marco Antonio Raimondi, who forged 990 of his engravings. Sunflowers. Vincent van Gogh
Pope Clement VIII, wishing to make Federico Gonzaga, the all-powerful Margrave of Mantua, pleasant in the early 1520s, promised him a picture of Raphael as a gift. But it was unbearably sorry for the Holy Father to part with a masterpiece. Then he ordered the artist Andrea del Sarto a copy of the canvas. Of course, passing it off as a script.
The most curious fake can be considered a picture of “Sunflowers” by Vincent Van Gogh. The picture of the famous Dutchman “Sunflowers”, sold for almost $ 40 million at Christie’s auction, turned out to be a fake according to the results of an examination of Italian art historians. In their conclusions, the experts relied on the correspondence of Van Gogh with Gauguin and other friends. The fact is that in the period from 1888 to 1989, Van Gogh created several versions of this picture (according to the latest data – 10). After a scrupulous study of the letters, the scientists came to the conclusion that among the Wangogow paintings this version of “Sunflowers” does not exist.
Gauguin wrote to Van Gogh several times that he really liked his “Sunflowers” and that he would like to contemplate them in his studio. After some time, he persuaded the master to give him one of the paintings for the time supposedly to enjoy the color scheme of the work. Soon the painting was returned to the author. A year after the death of Van Gogh, another version of his “Sunflowers” surfaced, previously unknown to anyone. At that moment, the picture was in Claude-Emile Schaffenecker, a friend of Gauguin. If we take into account that Schaffenecker, as it turned out later, was selling fakes of paintings by the great artist, an interesting situation looms. Experts suggested that the variant of “Sunflowers” they studied made from the original Gauguin.
It is worth noting that in fact the owners of “Sunflowers”, whose brush did not belong to the picture, lost almost nothing, since the works of Paul Gauguin are not much less.
A very special forgery was committed at the end of the 70s of the XX century, when the great brawler Salvador Dali fell ill with Parkinson’s disease and could no longer hold his brush, but paintings and drawings with his signature continued to appear with enviable frequency. Their author was a young – the Spanish artist Manuel Pujol Baladas, who was attracted to this work by Gala, Dali’s faithful companion. For three years, Puhol created about 400 watercolors, drawings, lithographs, two hundred paintings by oil. Only after the death of Dali, he acknowledged his participation in the work of the maestro. According to rumors, other newfangled artists are also actively using the services of talented young artists. But neither Themis nor public opinion have decided yet whether it is worth talking about fake in this situation.
During the cult of antiquity in Italy, a curious joke about Michelangelo’s “Sleeping Cupid” appeared with the light hand of Giorgio Vasari. One of the patrons of the young Buonarroti came up with the idea that the sculpture could be passed off as an antique work if its surface was treated accordingly.
Giorgio Vasari, talking about the sculpture of Michelangelo, issued as an antique script, does not say whether the great master himself was engaged in “aging” things or if one of his voluntary assistants-entrepreneurs did it. It is only known that the Balthasar del Milanese sold the Sleeping Cupid to Cardinal Rafael Rario from San Giorgio in Rome as an “antique masterpiece” for 200 ducats. Time and circumstances put everything in its place. Art lovers familiar with the work of Michelangelo revealed to the cardinal the secret of the origin of the marble baby, and the indignant owner returned the “fake” to the merchant, without even thinking about the true value of the work of the great master. The same J. Vasari told about the “antique” works of the Florentine Pietro Maria Serbaldi della Peschia, nicknamed Tagliacarne and his friend Marcantonio Mikiele, who was selling fakes.