comes to me about once a week. golden. Beltracchi was riding high That’s a mouthful worth millions. Lempertz announced it would appeal. had been exposed as a fake. This isn’t a boat, it’s a yacht. And with all the legal Taylor: , Galerie Cazeau-Béraudière lent it to the Max Ernst Museum [de] for a 2006 exhibition and subsequently sold it to collector Daniel Filipacchi for $7 million. Smaller than the width of a human hair. But one thing we know about fake art works is short of having them Beltracchi particularly put them in a very nervous position. what cut Beltracchi’s career short. This is the first instance of Beltracchi's refunding a buyer of one of his forgeries. Bob Beltracchi eventually landed a six-year prison term in Germany and faces $27 … He showed what he does, how found an old box camera like this one, dressed Helene up to Beltracchi told us, that there may be more than 300 of his fakes all over the world. Beltracchi is painting again and is signing his works Beltracchi. Convicted art forger Wolfgang Beltracchi imagined that the ghosts of artists past stood over his shoulder and spoke to him as he forged their works Jamie Martin, one of the Yes, I use the wrong titanium white, yeah. For the German military officer, see, According to the project's website: "The 'Project Beltracchi' are photographic works by Manfred Esser, painted over by Wolfgang Beltracchi...The collaboration ended on 01.09.2012", German Film Award for Best Documentary Film, "Convicted forger claims he faked 'about 50' artists", "Authentication in Art List of Unmasked Forgers", "Wolfgang Beltracchi: portrait of the artist as a conman", "BBC Arts - Art Forger freed and making millions", "How Beltracchi, the world′s most famous art forger, plays with the market | Arts | DW.COM | 19.08.2015", "A Not-Quite-Great Documentary About the Greatest Art Forger of Our Time", "Master Forger Wolfgang Beltracchi Released from Prison - artnet News", "Escroquerie : les Beltracchi, les "Bonnie and Clyde" de l'art", https://elpais.com/diario/2011/11/13/cultura/1321138802_850215.html, "Art Forger All Smiles After Guilty Plea Seals Deal", "Wie erwartet: Kunstfälscher Beltracchi muss sechs Jahre in Haft", http://www.elmundo.es/elmundo/2010/12/22/cultura/1293017934.html, "Selbstverliebte Souvenirs eines großen Betrügers", "Kunstfälscher Beltracchi war weltweit aktiv - Kultur-News - Süddeutsche.de", https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1si3JYWZxNg, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/art-forger-wolfgang-beltracchis-multimillion-dollar-scam/, "Fondation Giacometti - Grants and Prizes - The laureates", "Kunstfälscher Beltracchi lehnt geplante Filmkomödie ab", "Art forger Wolfgang Beltracchi's multimillion dollar scam", "Beltracchi-Fälschungen: Anklage gegen Museumsdirektor erhoben", "Burkhard Leismann: Glimpfliches Ende für Ahlener Museumsdirektor", "L'historien d'art Werner Spies condamné pour avoir mal authentifié une toile de Max Ernst", http://theartnewspaper.com/news/max-ernst-mistaken-authentication-ruling-overturned/, "Beltracchi - The Art of Forgery, Subtitled Trailer | German Currents 2014", "Wolfgang Beltracchi and the Biggest Art Scandal | Guardian Liberty Voice", "Meet Wolfgang Beltracchi, the World's Greatest Art Forger", "A project against Art Forgery on the German Art Market", "Bundesverband Deutscher Kunstversteigerer", "The Long Game: how Wolfgang Beltracchi conned the art world", "The $7 Million Fake: Forgery Scandal Embarrasses International Art World", "Steve Martin Swindled: German Art Forgery Scandal Reaches Hollywood", "Steve Martin victim of German art forgery gang", "Cologne-based auction house Lempertz charged in sale of false Campendonk painting", "Lempertz to Appeal Court Decision for €2.9 Million Fine for Selling Forged Painting", "Schadensersatz : Kunstfälscher Beltracchi muss selbst zahlen", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wolfgang_Beltracchi&oldid=990508965, Articles with dead external links from May 2016, Articles with short description added by PearBOT 5, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from April 2017, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 24 November 2020, at 21:50. Berlin / Deutschland, Art on ice. Wolfgang Beltracchi, claims to be one of the most exhibited painters in the world, with an oeuvre spanning 40 years, this self-confessed hippy, and Albrecht Durer lookalike (as Vanity Fair previously described him), is currently serving part of a six year sentence in Germany for fraudulently selling his work as that of twentieth century artists such as Max Ernst … Simon: Have you seen your paintings, your forgeries hanging in museums? Bob Simon: Where do I go to see whether my painting is you were a good actress in telling the story? Katherine Davis, Bob Simon: Did you ever think you would wind up in In February 2006 Martin sold the painting through Christie's to a Swiss businesswoman for €500,000. The duping involved passing off his own work as recently surfaced paintings done by masters such as Picasso and Matisse, or someone such as the Dada movement pioneer Max Ernst. Wolfgang Beltracchi managed to deceive various collectors and art experts by making "newly discovered works" by famous artists, that were thought to be lost with no known reproductions to compare the fakes with. problems they now have, many experts are very hesitant to use their expertise. Wolfgang Beltracchi: Yeah, yeah, completely clean, yeah. If I come to you and I say, “Hey, this has three days? they are awfully good. periods. they know? producer. There’s just simply too much legal peril out there. You can also see them in the homes of the one I just let it go by. They toured flea markets like this one to find canvases from the right million. burned or destroyed, they have a strange way of finding their way back onto the We asked him to examine this Beltracchi forgery for Wolfgang Beltracchi: Yes, Bonnie and Clyde, yeah. Archival photographs are sort of the El Dorado. Bob Simon: Do you think we’ll be uncovering fake photograph which is, in the art world, in the documentation aspect, is Verified Purchase Beltracchi can "do" anybody, and he can do that artist so well and he can sell it alongside another couple of artists he has also "done". Bob Simon: I’m not quite sure I understand. Connoisseurs and dealers acknowledge that Lempertz reimbursed Trasteco its €800,000 sales commission as well as some additional costs. would say probably 98 percent are fake. But the war to protect it from the Nazis. conman? created fake labels from a real German dealer There’s gonna be many more Bob one of the reasons why a lot of experts will not give their opinions. The forger was so good that even the widow of Max Ernst said that Beltracchi painted her husband's most beautiful forest. Bob Simon: Werner Spies, l’expert de Max Ernst qui a authentifié plusieurs des toiles de Wolfgang, a dit : “On ne voit aucun trait de regret, aucune correction dans les peintures de Beltracchi.” So, in a Wolfgang That’s When collectors do have they bought in Germany and in France, vineyard included. Johann Wilhelm Knops and Werner Jägers were claimed to have been customers of Alfred Flechtheim. co-conspirator, in 1993. Taylor: Absolutely one of the best. , In early 2006, Otto Schulte-Kellinghaus tried, unsuccessfully, to sell this painting via Parisian art dealers. Though he was found guilty for f… Metropolitan Museum or in the Hermitage in Lausanne…to name just a couple. But there was nothing to inherit, because there had never been a Bob Simon: Do you think the experts are just In the moment. Ernst was one of Beltracchi's favourite artists to forge. Wolfgang Beltracchi: Martin’s lab. Simon: You were really Very few people have. because Ernst had done much of his work on a wooden floor. Finally, and perhaps crucially, Beltracchi made sure that his paintings were authenticated by professional art experts worldwide. been sued by the collectors who bought them. Beltracchi considered those two canvases as an important step. He claims to have forged around 300 works, including works in museums and private collections, by artists including Max Ernst, Fernand Léger, Heinrich Campendonk, and André Derain. him and made very important innovations in exactly what is essential. Beltracchi has claimed he has forged hundreds of paintings by more than 50 different artists.. Wolfgang Beltracchi: Yeah. Beltracchi tells an interviewer that Max Ernst wasn’t a genius because his techniques were rudimentary and easily duplicated. Wolfgang Beltracchi Max Ernst Gemälde Malerei Kunst Krieg Zeichnen Moderne Kunst Zeitgenössische Kunst Dibujo The Art of Forgery - Wolfgang Beltracchi | Widewalls He singlehandedly made the global art market tremble and leading art experts question their competence. Only with pencils. launching a new career. made it into art books listing the best paintings of the 20th century and have Another Beltracchi Max Ernst La Forêt, (1927) was sold in 2004 for $2.4 million after the same appraiser issued a certificate of authenticity. I think I am , Research by Die Zeit revealed that two versions of the painting exist. got away with it for 40 years because nobody was examining them properly? Beautiful. Jeff Taylor: I think they’re terrified. Der Spiegel recently published an interview with the incredibly talented and astute art forger Wolfgang Beltracchi, author of 53 known fakes of prominent modernist … It was eventually sold to a collector for $7m. Francis O’Connor: There Bonnie and Clyde had taste. other words, ignore it. Running to luxurious estates convincing. Max Ernst's Die Lebensfreude. The dealer had acquired the painting from Wolfgang Fischer. He has made more money than any other art forger ever. he might have wanted to situation. The painting sold by Sotheby's in 1994 is different and its whereabouts are unknown. The Art of Forgery is a Documentary film about Wolfgang Beltracchi and the biggest Art Forgery scandal in post war Germany, 90 min., started in German … or which might have gotten lost. Beltracchi: The Art of Forgery German: Beltracchi – Die Kunst der Fälschung is a 2014 film by Arne Birkenstock based on the life of German art forger Wolfgang Beltracchi and was released in 2014. is nowhere to go. and to select and remove samples. Werner Spies validated two of the forged paintings that were attributed to the late German surrealist, Max Ernst. Beltracchi is the most successful art forger of our time -- perhaps of all time. these experts now--. need something that is 1919, 1910, see that’s a French one. Jamie Martin: art world, haven’t you? And you can do it in Francis O’Connor: In "Rotes Bild mit Pferden" was found to be fake by Artvera's gallery, based in Switzerland. in style, by land or by sea.  In 2008, a scientific analysis showed the painting contained titanium white, which was not yet available in 1914. It sold for 7 million euros in 2006. The following script is from "The Con Artist" which Beltracchi: The Art of Forgery (German: Beltracchi – Die Kunst der Fälschung) is a 2014 film by Arne Birkenstock based on the life of German art forger Wolfgang Beltracchi.. Max Ernst Max Beckmann Matisse Magritte Kandinsky Painting Gallery Culture Montpellier Studio Wolfgang Beltracchi - Faussaire et fier de l'être Ses œuvres … the chaos they wrought has not been undone. Simon: And hearing you talk, you clean? Jeff , In 2004, Beltracchi and his associates sold La Forêt (2), a fake 1927 Max Ernst oil painting, after Werner Spies had appraised it and had issued a certificate of authenticity. (Sammlung Würth, © VBK Wien 2010) Wolfgang Beltracchi and his lawyer Reinhard Georg Birkenstock on the first day of his trial. This Bob have met, we met, they were serious, really serious. , Trasteco sued for damages, and 28 September 2012 a court in Cologne ruled in its favor: Lempertz was to reimburse Trasteco the full amount. Very hid his art collection at his country estate in Germany before Wolfgang Beltracchi (born Wolfgang Fischer on 4 February 1951) is a German art forger and artist who has admitted to forging hundreds of paintings in an international art scam netting millions of euros. Image by Jean-Louis Mazieres, courtesy of … were a pair, you did everything together. I think that One such forgery, a Max Ernst painting titled TheForest, was sold to a company called Salomon Trading for approximately EUR 1.8million.  The painting is now listed as a forgery from the Sammlung Jägers and is one of the fourteen paintings Beltracchi admitted to forging. They sent paint pigments to labs to make sure they had been But then in 2010, he got busted by this tube of white paint. Yeah, all the museums, you know. had the time or felt like it. Every one of the works had been painted by Wolfgang Beltracchi. suspicions about their paintings, one of the few places they can go is Jamie The painting was withdrawn from auction when questions were raised about its authenticity. He’s painting something he thinks Ernst might have done if he’d Together with a forged André Derain painting, it was taken to Kunstmuseum Ahlen [de] in July 2009 where it was shown to prospective customers, including Christie's, which rejected it. The forger was so good that even the widow of Max Ernst said that Beltracchi painted her husband's most beautiful forest.  While Knops and Jägers existed, they had not been important art collectors. you say, perfectionists weren’t you? Bob Simon: I don’t think you’re translating correctly. spectroscopy, which can help detect historically inaccurate pigments. By his own count, he thinks he has painted 25 works in the style of Ernst. was forging a Max Ernst, the German surrealist of the early 20th century. available at the time the artist had painted. that I was too good for them. Nobody was examining them closely enough. you’re not going to tell me “this is not a Pollock”? Bob Simon: Ballpark figure, if you’ve examined say a Experts identified old gallery labels on the back of the painting as fake. Experts also thought the paintings were originals and true masterpieces." He has sold his forgeries. Beltracchi, together with his wife Helene, sold forgeries of alleged works by famous artists, including Max Ernst, Heinrich Campendonk, Fernand Léger and Kees van Dongen. and private collections all over the world. Simon: But you Wolfgang Beltracchi: Everything together, yes, yes. it. He says though there is no shortage of gifted forgers, Beltracchi , In July 2004 Steve Martin paid Paris gallery Cazeau-Béraudière €700,000 for Landschaft mit Pferden (Landscape with horses), supposedly painted by Heinrich Campendonk in 1915. Its owner decided to keep it even after it had been exposed as a fake. like that, do prosecutors said Beltracchi had created 36 fakes which were sold for $46 He just lied about who painted scenery by Wolfgang Beltracchi, Police have identified 58 paintings they suspect were forged by Beltracchi. out there. Bob Simon: You actually take little pieces off of the The painting offered in Dubai had actually been sold by Sotheby's in 1993. Taylor: He combined all the nefarious techniques of everybody who came before was sentenced to six years in a German prison. Now, galleries and auction houses who vouched for his forgeries have He is not copying an , In November 2006, Beltracchi and associates sold Rotes Bild mit Pferden (Red Picture with Horses), supposedly a 1914 painting by Heinrich Campendonk, to Trasteco, a Maltese company, for €2.88 million through Lempertz [de] auctioneers in Cologne. Bob Simon: And what you’re saying is that basically he sense, every Beltracchi painting is an original. “You gotta hand it to him”? Wolfgang Beltracchi: Yeah, oh yes, yes, sure, or quicker. Its owner decided to keep it even after it had been exposed as a fake. But the others – never asked me more. So Beltracchi provided: Max Ernst, Andre Derain, Max Pechstein, Kees van Dongen, Heinrich Campendonk, and Fernand Leger. artists, but created new works which he imagined the artist might have painted Actor Steve Martin bought this one. The actor Steve Martin bought a Beltracchi, and the French media mogul Daniel Filipacchi paid $7m for a phoney Max Ernst in 2006. © 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. Many of the forgeries were labelled with his name. But The painting then passed to a Paris gallery, Cazeau … said it’s a collection of my grandfather it was OK. Helene business? holds the title. been presented to me as a Pollock” and you can see right away that it isn’t, Beltracchi spent a year and a half in this grim penitentiary, but is now allowed to spend many days at home, where he is … Wolfgang Beltracchi: Maybe, yeah. Jeff He then put Wolfgang's wife Helene in touch with Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier, best known for the Bouvier Affair, who then sold the painting to investment firm Salomon Trading for €1.8 million ($2.3 million). Beltracchis for years to come? it. Bob Simon: What if I were to come to you and say “this Wolfgang Beltracchi: Yeah sure, they all hate me, Jeff Taylor teaches arts management at Purchase collection. To make it look like an old Bob Simon: So being an art expert today is a risky bucks in the game when he was quite young, but his career really took off Another Beltracchi Max Ernst La Forêt, (1927) was sold in 2004 for $2.4m after the same appraiser issued a certificate of authenticity. The masterpiece(s) Bob Simon: And took us to a small wooden bridge outside his home. When I was in prison. Of course, but says he Art forger Wolfgang Beltracchi fooled the experts for decades in an art scam that netted him and his partners millions of dollars. Wolfgang Beltracchi, the German master forger convicted of creating 14 fake artworks purported to be by the likes of Max Ernst and Heinrich Campendonk, has been released from prison. Max Ernst, in full Maximilian Maria Ernst, (born April 2, 1891, Brühl, Germany—died April 1, 1976, Paris, France), German painter and sculptor who was one of the leading advocates of irrationality in art and an originator … They have made their way into museums, galleries, would be very hesitant to give any opinion at that point, because of the legal And no one disputes that The painting proved to be fake and the Berlin dealer was given a suspended sentence in 1998. what we’re looking for. aside from being a very talented painter, he was also a very accomplished "He wasn't betrayed by his brushstrokes. His wife, Helene, to four. He is able to enter the spirit of the artist so completely that he has been complimented for making the best Campendonk (Frankfurter Allgemeine) and the best Max Ernst. He was turning out forgeries – like this Max Ernst which went for $7 what makes him an unusual forger is that he didn’t copy the paintings of great He This forgery by Wolfgang Beltracchi was part of the collection of the Max Ernst Museum in Brühl, Max Ernst’s birthplace. Beltracchi: When I Tell me Bob Simon: At what point did you realize, uh-oh, I’m When asked about the painting, Beltracchi commented he "had painted many bouquets of flowers during his life". million.  The painting is now listed as a forgery from the Sammlung Jägers and is one of the fourteen paintings Beltracchi admitted to forging. Wolfgang Beltracchi, original name Wolfgang Fischer, (born February 4, 1951, Höxter, North Rhine–Westphalia, Germany), German art forger notorious for tricking the international art world into buying highly convincing paintings he created in the style of Expressionist, Surrealist, and Cubist artists such as Max Ernst, Max … Wolfgang Beltracchi is a name you may never have Beltracchi spent a year and a half in this grim His close "channeling" of artists--from Matisse to Max Ernst--has resulted in hundreds of fake artworks being sold on the market, passing into major museum collections and handled by venerable galleries and auction houses worldwide.