Art - theft, forgery and wow

An art forger, tracking down stolen paintings and a Caravaggio

Published on 
3 min, 447 words

Categories: life book

I am not an artist and I have limited knowledge of art but I recently enjoyed a TV series and I am currently reading a book related to the subject.

A few months ago I watched a BBC series about stolen art and how they try and catch the thieves. There are only three episodes currently but well worth a watch.

Following this, I have recently been reading a book written by one of the most famous art forgers. It is interesting to read the lengths he went to in perfecting his art, or should I say someone else's art, and also how brazen it was. There was very little effort to hide what he was doing - even getting numerous commissions from art gallery owners. His artwork know hangs in a lot of galleries around the world, unknown to them.

I have been to the Uffizi gallery in Florence and visited some of the other galleries and churches with famous art work in Italy including the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. I have been to the main galleries in London - I really don't get the art at the Tate Modern although the building is cool. I tend to like art that is more realistic than abstract - I like Canaletto at the National Gallery and the level of detail he has in his paintings.

The art forger mentions that his favourite artist was Caravaggio. We were in Malta last summer and we visited the Saint John's Co-Cathedral in Valetta. One of the things it is famous it's history with the artist and the Caravaggio painting "The Beheading of St John the Baptist". This is displayed in a separate room. There is a short film presentation about the artist and his links to Malta and then you get to see the painting.

This picture does not do it justice but It is one of the few times, maybe the only time, I have gone "wow" on seeing a painting. I think it was partly due to the way it is displayed and also the lighting but it made quite an impact.

If you are ever in Malta it is well worth a visit - and that is from someone who is not really an art lover.


BBC Two - Stolen: Catching the Art Thieves

Con/Artist: The Life and Crimes of the World's Greatest Art Forger

Caravaggio - St John's Co-Cathedral

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