I read a lot of non-fiction books about art forgery and was intrigued by the premise of the fictional novel The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro. At the prompting of a friend, I dove in. I won’t say it’s my most favorite fictional story about art and artists that I’ve ever read, but it was reasonably enjoyable, and the forgery details were pretty well researched, so I have to give Shapiro props for making the experience more enjoyable because i wasn’t constantly howling over inaccurate historical details or technical minutiae.
Clare Roth is a painter with a past. She is skilled and talented, but her reputation is tarnished, so she gets by painting reproductions of other artist’s work for a company that commissions sofa art (real paintings that decorators buy for size and color palette rather than artistic merit) which can be direct copies or “in the style of” famous artist’s works. Claire’s particular talent is in imitating Degas’ Impressionistic style.