Genuine Fake Monet at Leeds Art Gallery, Yorkshire

In the photograph above you can see artist John Myatt next to one of his genuine fakes, this one a Monet.

John Myatt was here to discuss some of his work and life here at the Smart Gallery, Leeds. Unlike many painters working today his life really is worth discussing. I already knew something of John before I saw him recently on the BBC chatting about his work and life.

John is perhaps best known today as an art forger placed an advert in Private Eye (UK satirical magazine) “Genuine fakes. Nineteen and twentieth century paintings from £150”. What seemed like a good idea at the time led to his downfall and he was eventually arrested and jailed for one year, serving four months for conspiracy to defraud.

I would dearly love to own one of his art works they really are very good. His paintings in the “style of” Claude Monet, Marc Chagall, Vincent Van Gogh to name but a few were good enough to fool people.

After his release from prison the Scotland Yard detective who arrested him asked him to paint a picture, later becoming a friend.

Today John paints on the right side of the law and his ‘Legitimate Fakes’ command thousands of pounds and are collected in their own right.

I was pleased to meet and have a few words with John and as you can see he was kind and posed for my camera.

Lois said…
What an interesting individual!

JUNE 30, 2009 2:08 PM
Steffe said…
Very interesting read. I think I have seen him on TV. I’d also like to own one of his fakes, great portrait of the man.

JULY 1, 2009 11:00 AM
Leif Hagen said…
Great foto – interesting story! I also would love to own one of his “fakes!” I was just in Birmingham for a Rotary Intl meeting. Close to Leeds?

JULY 2, 2009 12:18 PM