The discerning collector Grenville L. Winthrop, A.B. 1886, LL.B. ’89, bought this alleged Goya portrait of Maria Isabella de Bourbon, infanta of Spain (1741-1763) from a New York dealer in 1936. He gave it to the Fogg Art Museum in 1943, where it was considered genuine, although several scholars had doubts. Goya expert F.J. Sanchez-Canton, visiting from the Museo Nacional del Prado in the early 1950s, declared the painting a forgery on the basis of its modern surface. Conservator Elizabeth H. Jones wrote at the time of the “curious oily slickness of the paint.” The canvas was old, and the paint bore the crackle marks of age.
An x-ray image of the painting in 1954 revealed the presence of an earlier portrait of a woman beneath the surface, but a woman with a longer face. Analysis also proved the use of zinc white paint, invented after Goya’s death. Cleaning showed that the paint surface was indeed relatively modern and had been applied lightly enough so as not to obscure the craquelure of the original. The base painting, thought to be a Spanish provincial work of about 1790, was not in good shape; the face may have been partially abraded by the forger.
Conservators left some of the modern surface in place so that what we see today is a face half by the forger and half by his predecessor—useful for teaching and a result Jones characterized as a “split personality in paint.”
Michael Wolf, Real Fake Art.
Between 2005 and 2007, Michael Wolf photographed painters in Shenzhen, China, who reproduced famous works of art. Each portrait consisted of a “copy artist” along with an example of a copied work. The settings were described as “dirty alleyways and street corners.” One reviewer wrote that the pictures “document intimate cultural and economic facets of globalization even as they record and complicate critical dilemmas about authenticity and the non-economic values of art.” The series was collected in his book Real Fake Art published in 2011.
Jews ordered to register by pro-Russian group in east Ukraine
Jews in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk where pro-Russian militants have taken over government buildings were told they have to “register” with the Ukrainians who are trying to make the city become part of Russia.
Jews emerging from a synagogue say they were handed leaflets that ordered the city’s Jews to provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee “or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated,” reported Ynet News, Israel’s largest news website.
"We don’t know if these notifications were distributed by pro-Russian activists or someone else, but it’s serious that it exists," said Olga Reznikova, 32, a Jewish resident of Donetsk. "The text reminds of the fascists in 1941," she said referring to the Nazis who occupied Ukraine during World War II.
Michael Salberg, director of the international affairs at the New York City-based Anti-Defamation League, said it’s unclear if the leaflets were issued by the pro-Russian leadership or a splinter group operating within the pro-Russian camp.
Literally terrifying. This is how it starts…