Review: The Art Forger
Claire Roth paints reproductions of famous artwork for a living and she’s good at what she does – probably one of the best – so she’s not all that surprised when gallery owner Aiden Markel comes to her when he needs a painting copied. She is surprised, though, when she learns that it’s a Degas that was stolen from the Gardner Museum several years ago. Against her better judgement, she agrees to paint the forgery in return for a show at Aiden’s gallery. Claire is suspicious of the Degas from the start and, when things go awry, she acts on her suspicions and finds herself trying to solve a hundred year old mystery.
The Art Forger, by B. A. Shapiro, has a little something for everyone – some art, some mystery, a little literary fiction, a little historical fiction, and even a little bit of romance – and I loved it! I started this book over the holidays when things were busy but was still captivated by it from the very start. Even though I only got to read it for short periods to begin with, I was hooked and couldn’t wait to get back to the book.
Claire is a wonderful character. An artist at heart, she’s struggled to make a living with her passion, so has turned to painting reproductions. Her mastery at them has caused her a few problems, though, so she’s faced some moral dilemmas along the way. She had a difficult relationship in the past and has decided to avoid relationships for a while. She does have supportive friends, though, that help keep her working toward her goals.
I was captivated by the art in this book and loved all the details Shapiro included. She clearly did her research and I was fascinated by all of it. It seems like painting a good reproduction is more complicated than painting an original!
The mystery aspect of the story was based on a real crime. Thirteen pieces of art were stolen from the Gardner Museum in 1990 and they’ve never been recovered. Knowing the theft was real made the story come alive for me. I found myself googling the theft and longing to go to the Gardner Museum as I read this book.
In case you couldn’t tell, I thought The Art Forger was wonderful and think most people will enjoy it Book clubs would find a lot to discuss within its pages. This is a gem of a book!