A while back I read a book called The Muralist by B.A. Shapiro and thoroughly enjoyed it. While searching for another book to read, I happened across another Shapiro novel, The Art Forger. Could the author capture my interest again? Absolutely.
Shapiro has a way of taking you into the mind of the artist and along the journey teaches you about facets of art that you probably never considered. In The Art Forger, you learn some surprising facts about some of the very first people to forge or copy the works of famous artists.
One of the things that intrigued me about this read was remembering back to my high school days when I, with a group of seniors in my German class, went to visit our teacher's apartment. She had a picture hanging over the mantel that was a copy of--if I recall correctly--a Rembrandt, perhaps a self portrait. It made an impression on me. I didn't know that people would paint a copy of someone else's work.
The story in The Art Forger takes you into the life of Claire Roth who in order to make money to survive and paint her own art makes reproductions of other famous works. She is made an offer to good to pass up to copy a Degas painting but there is a darker side to the whole proposition. There is a bit of a mystery to solve and of course the protagonist is into all sorts of trouble by the time the story unfolds but along the way, the reader not only gets a good storyline but also a little art history and a look into the forging or copying of a painting.
It's a good read and one worth packing/downloading for your next trip.