An extraordinary memoir is to reveal how a moderately gifted artist managed to forge his way to riches by conning high-profile auctioneers, dealers and collectors over four decades.
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Ken Perenyi’s memoir reveals how natural cracks and discoloured varnish would deceive even seasoned experts.
The book, Caveat Emptor: The Secret Life of an American Art Forger, will be published next month and tells the story of Ken Perenyi, an American who lived in London for 30 years. The revelations contained within it are likely to spark acute embarrassment in art circles on both side of the Atlantic.
Perenyi’s specialities included British sporting and marine paintings of the 18th and 19th centuries. He concentrated his efforts on duplicating the work of well-known but second-rank artists, on the basis that the output of the greatest masters is too fully documented. Dealers were usually told that he had found a picture in a relative’s attic or spotted it in a car boot sale.
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