ROTTERDAM - The "Emmaus' work in the Boijmans van Beuningen is possible forgery. the forger, Han van Meegeren, was arrested in Amsterdam. He made a full confession.

Van Meegeren confessed that he has earned eight million guilders with forging works by Vermeer and Pieter de Hooch.

After the fall of Nazi Germany were allied forces in Austria, a large storage of artworks. In the set of "Reichsmarschall" Heinrich Goering was also a hitherto unknown work by Vermeer. That work was to Goering sold by Van Meegeren.

Times the National Research reselling the works, Van Meegeren came with his remarkable confession. What works' hand’ are is not clear. Only at Emmaus "is mentioned by name.

In addition to Van Meegeren also arrested several employees. Should there indeed be fake, the penalty is much lower than for collaboration. Distortion is up to two years in prison, Collaboration can bring a long prison sentence or even the death penalty.


The artwork 'Emmaus' is without doubt the masterpiece of Boijmans.

The piece for sale a year earlier was offered by Dutch family residing in Southern France. The known art expert dr. Bredius examined the document and stated that it was a hitherto unknown 'masterpiece of Johannes Vermeer.

The purchase was beginning 1938 announced by Mayor Droogleever Fortuyn in Rotterdam. The cloth was paid half a million guilders. The purchase gave a standing ovation in the council chamber of the town hall in Rotterdam.

In the years that followed drew the canvas numerous art lovers from around the world. And no one doubted the authenticity.

This article continues below this advertisement


The management of the Boijmans-van Beuningen maintains that the work is genuine.

"The investigation is still in progress", says acting director Ebbinge Wubben in Het Vrije Volk. "The confession of Van Meegeren is still absolutely no evidence for the falsity of the paintings."

"As for the painter Han van Meegeren, He is a dreamer, which is filled with a grudge against the Dutch museum world. "

(Director Ebbinge Wubben of Boijmans-van Beuningen in Het Vrije Volk, 17-07-1945 en 18-07-1945)

Last week it was announced that a book has surfaced in the Reichstag in Berlin, which was written by Han van Meegeren and Martien Beverslui. Up front, the command was found: 'The beloved leader: in grateful recognition of dedicated H van Meegeren. "

According to several newspapers, and, in particular, the Truth, it is thus proved that Van Meegeren not only works of art sold to the Nazis, but also had a political preference for the Germans.

or a genius?

If knocking the claims of Van Meegeren, the question remains how he got it done he could fabricate forgeries where the greatest art experts intrapten.

The famous paintings restorer of Bohemia from The Hague said in an interview with Reuters that he still assumes that the piece is really.

"If it was a 'young' picture, this would have been found by the relining. Het cracked (small cracks) the petrified paint the opinion substantiates, the artwork of ancient date. Van Meegeren has manufacturing that this man is a genius painter and a brilliant forger "

(Nico van Bohemen, ANP, 18-07-1945)

Van Bohemen is further unlikely that are incorrect allegations by Van Meegeren, because his views in recent years is very bad. Also, the style of "The Supper at Emmaus" does not match the style of Van Meegeren.

Hoe ging het verder?

Despite all the "improbabilities" Van Meegeren was no dreamer, but a master forger. To substantiate his claim, he had the judges but prove that he was capable to paint a Vermeer '. So Van Meegeren made in a studio converted to courtroom Christ in the Temple ".

The judges were convinced, especially since the glass and the jug on the Emmaus also still on the mantel of the family Van Meegeren. The master forger had one year jail, but died of a heart attack before entered his sentence.

Van Meegeren told the judges that he could imitate the antiquity of the paintings by Bakelite, a kind of paste which used to be mainly phones were made, by mixing the paint. Due to the artwork then to place one and a half hour in the oven, got the 'old look'. Arose scratches in the paint, who would do many years of normal to look so old.

The discovery of the forgeries by Van Meegeren made him arguably become one of the most famous forgers of the world. And that's a (misunderstood) Painter still wrong. After revealing were his own works, signed with Van Meegeren, suddenly worth much more. Projecting: even of his work were made counterfeits.


The truth – 11-07-1945 – Find in the Reich Chancellery

Het Vrije Volk – 17-07-1945 – Vermeer were not really

Het Vrije Volk – 18-07-1945 – Van Meegeren: Fantast of genie”?

Text: Dave Datema

published: 18 februari 2018

story number: 110

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.