Breaking van Gogh: Saint-Rémy, Forgery, and the $95 Million Fake at the Met

Skyhorse
Free sample

Art history comes alive in this captivating investigation of the history and authenticity of van Gogh’s iconic painting Wheat Field with Cypresses.
 
Currently on display at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Vincent van Gogh’s TheWheat Field with Cypresses is traditionally considered to be one of a series of masterworks he painted during his stay in the Saint-Rémy mental asylum. After his suicide, these paintings languished for a decade, until van Gogh’s sister-in-law took them to a family friend for restoration. The restorer had other ideas . . .
 
Relying on a number of verification techniques, from the study of the painter’s biography and personal correspondence to the examination of the painting’s style and technical characteristics, investigative journalist James Ottar Grundvig posits that the painting housed in the Met, valued at $95 million dollars, is a fake.
 
In the course of his investigation, Grundvig traces the incredible story of this piece from the artist’s brushstrokes in sunlit southern France to a forger’s den in Paris, the art collections of a prominent Jewish banking family and a Nazi-sympathizing Swiss arms dealer, and finally the walls of the Met. The riveting narrative of Breaking van Gogh weaves its way through the turbulent history of twentieth-century Europe, as the painting’s fate is intimately bound with some of the era’s most prominent figures.
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About the author

James Grundvig is an investigative journalist who has published over 100 articles on a diverse array of topics in the Huffington Post, the Financial Times, and the Epoch Times, among other media outlets. He is a lifelong Vincent van Gogh fan and has now decided to devote his passion and forensic expertise to the master artist. He lives in New York City.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Skyhorse
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Published on
Oct 4, 2016
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Pages
280
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ISBN
9781510707818
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Language
English
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Genres
Art / History / Modern (late 19th Century to 1945)
Art / Individual Artists / General
True Crime / Organized Crime
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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“Dolphins, drones, terrorism, special ops, and the latest military gadgets all wrapped inside layers of impending massacre and international intrigue” (Ron Lealos, author of The Sixth Man).
 
James Grundvig’s Dolphin Drone takes us into the complex underworld of global terrorism with razor-sharp plot twists, remarkable characters, and fascinating insight into the technological advancements of the US Navy.
 
Using dolphin sonar-tracking technology, ex-Navy SEAL Merk Toten stumbles upon freshly laid Iranian sea mines, while conducting surveillance on two U.S. ships that were hijacked by Somali pirates on the Strait of Hormuz. This discovery occurs on the same day that a fake intelligence report draws three US drones away from the Persian Gulf. Toten investigates the parallel events to uncover a new super-terrorist group made up of a network of Somali warlords, Islamic assailants, Yemen-based terrorists, and ISIS sympathizers.
 
When Toten and the beautiful CIA Operative Jenny Myung King discover a plot by this new terrorist organization to bomb New York Harbor, the duo must race against the clock to stop the devastating attack.
 
Dolphin Drone is a tense thriller that combines cutting-edge marine technology, high-stakes undercover operations, and complex and frightening political underpinnings.
 
“Journalist Grundvig’s promising first novel introduces ‘dolphin whisperer’ Merk Toten and his two military-trained bottlenose dolphins, Tasi and Inapo.” —Publishers Weekly
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “The definitive biography for decades to come.”—Leo Jansen, curator, the Van Gogh Museum, and co-editor of Vincent van Gogh: The Complete Letters

Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, who galvanized readers with their Pulitzer Prize–winning biography of Jackson Pollock, have written another tour de force—an exquisitely detailed, compellingly readable portrait of Vincent van Gogh. Working with the full cooperation of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Naifeh and Smith have accessed a wealth of previously untapped materials to bring a crucial understanding to the larger-than-life mythology of this great artist: his early struggles to find his place in the world; his intense relationship with his brother Theo; and his move to Provence, where he painted some of the best-loved works in Western art. The authors also shed new light on many unexplored aspects of Van Gogh’s inner world: his erratic and tumultuous romantic life; his bouts of depression and mental illness; and the cloudy circumstances surrounding his death at the age of thirty-seven.
 
Though countless books have been written about Van Gogh, no serious, ambitious examination of his life has been attempted in more than seventy years. Naifeh and Smith have re-created Van Gogh’s life with an astounding vividness and psychological acuity that bring a completely new and sympathetic understanding to this unique artistic genius.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • The Washington Post • The Wall Street Journal • San Francisco Chronicle • NPR • The Economist • Newsday • BookReporter 

“In their magisterial new biography, Van Gogh: The Life, Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith provide a guided tour through the personal world and work of that Dutch painter, shining a bright light on the evolution of his art. . . . What [the authors] capture so powerfully is Van Gogh’s extraordinary will to learn, to persevere against the odds.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“Brilliant . . . Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith are the big-game hunters of modern art history. . . . [Van Gogh] rushes along on a tide of research. . . . At once a model of scholarship and an emotive, pacy chunk of hagiography.”—Martin Herbert, The Daily Telegraph (London)
Philip Carlo's The Ice Man spent over six weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List. Top Mob Hitman. Devoted Family Man. Doting Father. For thirty years, Richard "The Iceman" Kuklinski led a shocking double life, becoming the most notorious professional assassin in American history while happily hosting neighborhood barbecues in suburban New Jersey.

Richard Kuklinski was Sammy the Bull Gravano's partner in the killing of Paul Castellano, then head of the Gambino crime family, at Sparks Steakhouse. Mob boss John Gotti hired him to torture and kill the neighbor who accidentally ran over his child. For an additional price, Kuklinski would make his victims suffer; he conducted this sadistic business with coldhearted intensity and shocking efficiency, never disappointing his customers. By his own estimate, he killed over two hundred men, taking enormous pride in his variety and ferocity of technique.

This trail of murder lasted over thirty years and took Kuklinski all over America and to the far corners of the earth, Brazil, Africa, and Europe. Along the way, he married, had three children, and put them through Catholic school. His daughter's medical condition meant regular stays in children's hospitals, where Kuklinski was remembered, not as a gangster, but as an affectionate father, extremely kind to children. Each Christmas found the Kuklinski home festooned in colorful lights; each summer was a succession of block parties.

His family never suspected a thing.

Richard Kuklinski is now the subject of the major motion picture titled "The Iceman"(2013), starring James Franco, Winona Ryder, Ray Liotta, and Chris Evans.

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