Matisse forgeries in the market is nothing new

Dealers fear more forged prints may emerge

The recent excitement over the discovery by a private collector that his etching “Etude de nu renversé” is not an original has alerted art dealers to the possibility of more forged prints coming onto the market. Indeed, Mme Wanda de Guébriant, expert in charge of the Matisse archives, has opined that the etching “is from a forged plate from which it seems many prints have been made”. The signature in ink, rather than pencil, and the less than faithful copying is the tell-tale sign.

IFAR, the International Federation for Art Research, has publicised the recent discovery and also cites the recent case of another of these prints which was sold by a French dealer to the owner of a stand in the St Ouen flea market in Paris in 1984. This print became the subject of legal action which lasted over six years, only being concluded in February 1990.

Dealers in London are also aware of the possibility of coming across faked prints and say this is nothing new. The problem has been around for the last twenty years.

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 4 January 1991