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European Journal

The Netherlands: The Business of Forgeries in the Art World

Is it genuine or fake? It is a question that frequently crops up with Van Gogh paintings. Vincent Van Gogh's work has probably been copied and forged more than any other painter of the modern era.


Flohmarkt Rastro in Madrid

Most people won't be lucky enough to find a real Van Gogh at the flea market.

Even the origin of some works attributed to Van Gogh and hanging in museums is extremely doubtful. New Van Gogh works surface almost daily. With some, it's immediately clear that they are not originals. But there are also numerous convincing forgeries. There is no authorative directory of Van Gogh's work, and in some cases experts find it hard to be sure. Van Gogh paintings regularly fetch top prices at auction, so many dream of making the ultimate discovery at a local flea market or attic clearout.