Art world still haunted by legacy of Matisse forger
Wednesday 20 April 1994
Eighteen years after his death, Elmyr de Hory's name has arisen in connection with a Matisse which, with its initial estimate of dollars 7m (pounds 4.75m), would have been one of the stars of Sotheby's New York sale next month. However, in preparing their catalogue entry for Woman in an Interior, 1943, the auctioneers have found documents dismissing the painting as a forgery.
Matisse was one of the artists De Hory did best. De Hory was a master of deception who faked modern painters, posing as an impoverished Hungarian aristocrat with an art collection to sell.
The Sotheby's 'Matisse' was attributed to Matisse when the New York collector, Harriet Weiner Goodstein, and her first husband, Leon Munchin, a lawyer, bought it in 1956.
Sotheby's suspicions were raised when it began researching the Matisse and other paintings from the estate of Mrs Goodstein, which it is selling next month. David Nash, director of Impressionist and modern art for Sotheby's world-wide, said: 'I did think it was strange that the painting had never been illustrated in books or in exhibitions, which is unusual for a late Matisse.'
Sotheby's approached the Matisse archive in Paris, which has a photograph of the picture and a 1959 note registering it as a fake. That note was written by Marguerite Duthuit-Matisse, the artist's daughter. Claude Duthuit, Matisse's grandson and an executor of his estate, expressed doubts that it is De Hory's work, dismissing him as 'a very bad forger'.
Mr Nash, however, remains to be convinced that it is not by Matisse. As he put it, 'the jury's still out'. More research is being done.
- 1 Exodus Gods and Kings: Ridley Scott never considered casting 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he'd killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, GAME, PC World and Argos
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Michael Buerk wishes he'd killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: SURREY MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: What do you want to do with your career? Do yo...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...