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Research

 
 

Jonathan's research took him all over the Netherlands, Germany, Britain, and the United States, investigating more than thirty-five private and public archives, meeting with descendents of Van Meegeren's partners in crime, and examining all of Van Meegeren's known forgeries in museum storerooms, conservation laboratories, and the homes of private collectors.

World War 2 Map

This section from an old World War II poster shows the Nazis' plans for the complete domination of Europe—plans doomed to failure by the time of the Allied invasion of Normandy in 1944. While Axis optimists may have held out a hope for a negotiated peace, shrewder operators were prepared for other outcomes—hiding their ill-gotten loot and erasing all trace of their crimes and collaboration. Van Meegeren, for one, had a lot of erasing to do. See “The Endgame” Chapter Nine of The Man Who Made Vermeers.

Characters from The Man Who Made Vermeers

  Han van Meegeren
The master forger's powers of deception extended beyond the realm of painting
     
  Hermann Goering
A self-proclaimed Renaissance man, he desperately wanted a Vermeer, the ultimate trophy, for his private collection
     
Theodore W. H. Ward   Theodore W. H. Ward
The éminence grise behind Van Meegeren's earliest Vermeer forgeries
     
Anna de Voogt  

Anna de Voogt
Van Meegeren's family-minded first wife, shown here dressed for a costume party she didn't really care to attend

     
Johanna de Boer   Johanna de Boer
Van Meegeren's second wife, a stage actress with a scandalous reputation
     
Joseph Duveen   Joseph Duveen
The art dealer who unwittingly sold two of Van Meegeren's earliest Vermeer forgeries to Andrew Mellon
     
Abraham Bredius  

Abraham Bredius
The aging Dutch art expert who was duped into authenticating Van Meegeren's Supper at Emmaus

     
Joseph Piller  

Joseph Piller
The Jewish Resistance hero who arrested Van Meegeren as a collaborator, but grew, in the end, to like and admire the master forger

     

To see more of the characters in The Man Who Made Vermeers watch the slide show.

 

 
 

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Slide show

There are more images from Jonathan's research in the slide show.



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Jonathan Lopez podcast from ABC Radio on the Man Who Made Vermeers Podcast: Jonathan Lopez discusses The Man Who Made Vermeers on ABC Radio National's "Late Night Live" with Phillip Adams. Download podcast.

 

 

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