Donald Trump biographer recalls bizarre story about a fake Renoir painting

Author said incident was emblematic of how Trump 'believes his own lies in a way that lasts for decades'

Roisin O'Connor@Roisin_OConnor
Saturday 14 October 2017 09:26
comments
Melania Trump speaks with Fox News - the fake Renoir painting can be seen on the wall in the background
Melania Trump speaks with Fox News - the fake Renoir painting can be seen on the wall in the background

A journalist and author has recalled a story about how Donald Trump once tried to convince him that he owned an original Renoir painting.

Years ago Tim O'Brien, who wrote the explosive book TrumpNation: The Art of Being The Donald, accompanied the then-business mogul on his private jet for an interview.

Speaking to Vanity Fair podcast 'Inside the Hive with Nick Bilton'. O'Brien explained how the plane was ornate as you would imagine.

On one wall he spotted a painting of two young girls, one in an orange hat and the other with a floral bonnet, in the impressionistic style of Renoir.

O'Brien asked Trump about the painting: "Was it an original?" Trump said it was. O'Brien disagreed, and Trump protested: Yes, it was an original.

"Donald, it's not," O'Brien said. "I grew up in Chicago, that Renoir is called Two Sisters on the Terrace and it's hanging on a wall at the Art Institute of Chicago. That's not an original."

Trump apparently did not agree but O'Brien dropped the subject and continued the interview, thinking it would not be discussed again.

However, boarding the jet again to return to New York City, O'Brien says Trump pointed to the painting again.

As though the previous conversation had never happened, he reportedly said: "You know, that's original Renoir." O'Brien chose not to respond.

Years later, when Trump became President of the United States of America, O'Brien says he spotted it hanging in the background during one of his first interviews as president-elect.

In another interview with First Lady Melania Trump, the painting can again be seen in the background.

The original painting is, of course, on display at the Art Institute of Chicago and appears on its online archive. It was completed by Renoir in 1881 and was worked on in the same locaton as another of his well-known paintings, Luncheon of the Boating Party.

The Art Institute of Chicago website shows that the painting is currently on display there

Two Sisters was sold in 1925 to Annie S. Coburn for $100,000, and was bequeathed to the gallery after her death, where it has remained since 1933.

O'Brien said that the story was emblematic of how Trump "believes his own lies in a way that lasts for decades."

"Its foundation is that he's the final arbiter of what is true and what isn't," he continued, "and it's one of the reasons that he's so dangerous."

You can listen to the full interview with O'Brien on Vanity Fair below:

Loading....

Follow Independent Culture on Facebook for the latest news, features and interviews

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments