Libri di Noah Charney - libri Johan & Levi Editore

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Noah Charney

author
Johan & Levi
Art historian, expert on art world crime and an acclaimed author of novels and essays on the subject. He is founder and Chairman of ARCA, an association for researching crimes against art. He writes regularly for ArtForumThe Daily Beast and The Guardian. Among his best-known books are The Art Thief (2007) and Stealing the Mystic Lamb. The True Story of the World’s Most Coveted Masterpiece (2010). Johan & Levi has published his latest non-fiction book, The Museum of Lost Art (2019). Picture by Urska Charney.

Author's books

It is 1947, Han van Meegeren went on trial for high treason, accused of having sold a piece of Dutch cultural heritage to Nazi bigwig Hermann Göring during the war. He risked execution, even though the “Vermeer” in question was one he painted himself. Nobody believed him. To prove it, he was asked to make a copy right there and then. Van Meegeren’s contemptuous response was not long in coming: “In all my career, I have never painted a copy! But I will paint you a new Vermeer. I’ll paint you a masterpiece!” The psychological motivations that prompt such a brilliant hand to commit this kind of crime are incredibly varied: simple money-making speculation, anger at the artistic establishment, or to bamboozle so-called expert eyes... While copying the works of the great masters has long been a widespread custom, some have continued to practice it not just out of simple pleasure but to provoke, earning the self-satisfaction of men who measure themselves against the giants of art history. Noah Charney takes us on an adventurous expedition through history, psychology and science, revealing the dramas and intrigues that surround the most famous art forgeries: from Marcantonio Raimondi’s “non-original copies” of Dürer to the golden goblet made by master goldsmith Reinhold Vasters, which ended up at the Metropolitan as a work by Benvenuto Cellini, to Wolfgang Beltracchi, a true genius of the scam, who created an incalculable number of counterfeit masterpieces, and even starred in his own successful documentary. The public, after all, is always fascinated by these shady characters, especially when criminals often pass themselves off as heroes. With their shadowy charm, consumed by the hubris of rewriting history, forgers create perfect deceptions to prove their own brilliance. Which, in many cases, truly exists.
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L'arte del falso

Noah Charney

pages: 293 pages

It is 1947, Han van Meegeren went on trial for high treason, accused of having sold a piece of Dutch cultural heritage to Nazi bigwig Hermann Göring during the war. He risked execution, even though the “Vermeer” in question was one he painted himself. Nobody believed him. To prove it, he was asked to make a copy right there and then. Van Meege
Imagine a space designed to host all of the works of art lost to us. Such a place would be by far the most immense museum on earth, where masterpieces of every era would be displayed side by side, indeed more than the number of works in all the collections now on earth put together. Greek and Roman statues would stand beside Byzantine icons and paintings burned in Savonarola’s bonfires alongside thousands of works confiscated and destroyed by the Nazis and monuments reduced to dust by ISIS militants. First of all, however, it would compile a complete catalogue of the motives for which art disappears from circulation – theft or bombardment, natural catastrophe or shipwreck, vandalism or even the artist’s own hand rejecting his work or programming its decay, as certain Land Art works designed to be consumed by time and the elements. A museum of this sort would serve as a warning, a tangible image of the transient nature of all human creations. Emblematic of this curious aspect of art history are the ill-fated adventures of paintings such as Courbet’s The Stone Breakers, rescued along with other treasures from a tower of the castle in Dresden only moments before the castle was bombed to the ground by Allied forces, or the mysterious fate of works stolen from the Stuart Gardner collection and never seen again. On the other hand, there are happier stories such as that of a de Kooning stolen from a museum and found thirty years later hanging in a suburban bedroom or that of the spectacular gold mosaics covering Santa Sophia in Istanbul today which had previously lain hidden under white plaster for four hundred years. Finally, where luck or investigation has been unable to find lost works, today we have science. Thus, thanks to X-rays and other sophisticated technologies, lost masterpieces by Goya, Picasso and Malevich have been discovered under successive layers of paint. Noah Charney suggests that these episodes open a window of hope, reminding us that everything is not lost, not forever. The vast repertoire of belated discoveries, miraculous rescues and unexpected recognition of works whose identity had long been obscure serves to confirm that saying “lost” is like saying “waiting to be brought back to light”.
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Il museo dell'arte perduta

Noah Charney

pages: 296 pages

Imagine a space designed to host all of the works of art lost to us. Such a place would be by far the most immense museum on earth, where masterpieces of every era would be displayed side by side, indeed more than the number of works in all the collections now on earth put together. Greek and Roman statues would stand beside Byzantine icons and pai
 

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