Andrew Graham-Dixon investigates the story of the 20th century’s greatest art forger, Dutch artist Han van Meegeren, who made millions during World War II selling fake Vermeers in Nazi-occupied Holland.
Following a trail of evidence across Europe, Graham-Dixon pieces together how van Meegeren fooled the art establishment – and even swindled Hermann Göring, selling him what was then one of the most expensive paintings in the world.
Looking at this tale of intrigue and double-dealing against the backdrop of Europe’s darkest hour, Graham-Dixon tries to uncover the motives of the master forger. Was he a Dutch folk hero, outwitting the Nazi occupiers? A cynical opportunist? Or even ruthless collaborator?
As Andrew Graham-Dixon discovers, this is a tale about much more than simply art forgery: a twisted, timely morality tale about the blurred lines between truth and fiction that poses uncomfortable questions about deception – and collusion. About what happens when we want to believe something a little too much, even when the evidence of fakery is before our eyes.