The Forger's Spell

Alpine Books


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New York Times Bestseller

“Dolnick brilliantly re-creates the circumstances that made possible one of the most audacious frauds of the 20th century. And in doing so Dolnick plumbs the nature of fraud itself . . . an incomparable page turner.” —Boston Globe

As riveting as a World War II thriller, The Forger’s Spell is the true story of Johannes Vermeer and the small-time Dutch painter who dared to impersonate him centuries later. For seven years a no-account painter named Han van Meegeren managed to pass off his paintings as those of one of the most beloved and admired artists who ever lived. As Edward Dolnick reveals, his true genius lay in psychological manipulation, and he came within inches of fooling the world. Instead, he landed in an Amsterdam court on trial for his life. The Forger’s Spell is the gripping, true tale of this almost perfect crime.