Witte de With Contemporary Art
Han van Meegeren
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Han van Meegeren

Han van Meegeren (1889 – 1947, the Netherlands) was a painter and portraitist, and is considered one of the most notorious and ingenious art forgers of the 20th century. Bitter to the critics who claimed that his work was tired and imitative, he set to prove them wrong by forging painting in the style of masters such as Frans Hals, Pieter de Hooch, Gerard ter Borch and Johannes Vermeer. His most well-known forgeries are in the style of Vermeer, especially The Supper at Emmaus, which eventually revealed his frauds. After the Meegeren exposure in 1945, a wave of self-criticism surged through the world’s art museums and many an Old Master or a Vermeer disappeared from their walls. On 12 November 1947 the court sentenced Han van Meegeren to a year in prison on the charge of art fraud. He died 6 weeks after he was convicted. His works are still conserved and displayed in the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam and the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam among others.