The Art Forger

A Novel

Shapiro, Barbara A.

Book - 2012
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Art Forger
Making a living reproducing famous artworks for a popular online retailer and desperate to improve her situation, Claire is lured into a Faustian bargain with Aiden Markel, a powerful gallery owner. She agrees to forge a painting, a Degas masterpiece stolen from the Gardner Museum, in exchange for a one-woman show in his renowned gallery. But when that very same long-missing Degas painting is delivered to Claire's studio, she begins to suspect that it may itself be a forgery.

Publisher: Chapel Hill, N.C. : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 1616201320
Branch Call Number: M F Sha


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Sep 10, 2014
  • afarr16 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This book is like candy. If you're familiar with Boston and the ISG, it's kind of a must read. It's not a masterpiece, or particularly challenging, but a good vacation book and a fun idea.

May 12, 2014

from Rocky 5/2014

Jan 04, 2014
  • sess430 rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

I love art & I love Boston so I really wanted to like this book but was sorely disappointed. It is full of hackneyed cliches. This is one example: after a character says "You've fallen in love with her", the reply is "Is it that obvious?" followed by "Takes one to know one." I was annoyed by the numerous sentence fragments (an example from pg. 58): "Alive and intact." These were adjectives to describe a noun in the previous sentence. The plot twists strained credulity and the characters weren't very likable.

Oct 26, 2013
  • hania4987 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

fun read ... the details of the painting technique are interesting ... my favorite, though, Isabelle's letters -- wish there were more

Aug 05, 2013
  • BobScott36 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This is a great read. You may struggle to begin with, but when you become acquainted with the three different timelines involved, the suspense and intensity increase.

Jul 31, 2013
  • mockingbird7 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This book has an entertaining plot and makes a nice summer read. It even provides a little education on the arts along the way.

Jul 21, 2013
  • szarnstorff rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Excellent mystery mixed with history and facts about art. Fascinating even if you aren't an artist. Paints a picture in your mind and makes you appreciate art again. Interesting story about relationships and true friends.

Jul 13, 2013
  • wozebooks rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Art Forger is a very good read. Good story, interesting characters and moves along at a good pace. Lots of art history and painting info about a very complex process.

Jul 04, 2013
  • BlueHippo rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Really enjoyed this book. A great fiction story with history and actual events mixed in. Learned a lot about the art of making copies of art work!

Jul 04, 2013
  • Jane60201 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I agree that the book was mildly entertaining but the plot and the conclusion seemed pretty improbable.

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Jul 17, 2014
  • siammarino rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Claire is a struggling artist who makes her living doing copying famous artists, especially Degas. Aiden is an influential gallery owner who offers her a huge sum and her own show if she will forge the Degas stolen from the Isabella Gardner Museum. Should she take this deal with the devil? What if she falls in love with the devil? Fascinating details about the forgery process, but the plot gets a little convoluted.

Nov 11, 2013
  • spotSYgirl rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

There was never any doubt that Claire Roth was an exceptionally gifted painter. But in The Art Forger, by B. A. Shapiro, her troubles begin when she creates a piece for her boyfriend Isaac, a famous but blocked artist. He gratefully submits the work as his own for a prestigious MoMA commission. The painting becomes an instant sensation, and overnight Isaac is the new darling of the art world. He unceremoniously dumps Claire but continues to reap the benefits associated with her work.

Disgusted with Isaac’s refusal to acknowledge her part in his meteoric rise to superstardom, Claire takes matters into her own hands. Unfortunately, her efforts only result in her immediate status change to pariah. No one of any consequence will even preview her new paintings.

Out of the blue, Claire is offered a solo exhibit in a trendy gallery. But there is one stipulation. How far will Claire sink to get visibility for her latest series of masterpieces?

Feb 27, 2013
  • APlazek rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

The Art Forger is a beautifully crafted novel that brings the art world to life. Shapiro blends facts from the largest art heist in history into an intriguing mystery featuring a young artist, Claire Roth, who has been blackballed in the art scene. Claire is very talented in reproductions and specializes in the works of Edgar Degas. When the owner of one of the most prestigious galleries offers her a one woman show in exchange for forging one of the paintings that was stolen from the Gardner Museum, she is both flattered and morally challenged. When the painting arrives in her apartment to copy she begins to question whether or not it is in fact an original painted by Degas. Alternating between her current situation and the scandal from the past that has caused Claire such pain and introspection, Shapiro creates an intriguing glimpse into the world of art.


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