Lecture: ‘A Beautiful Lie: Medieval Art Forgeries in Catalonia’, Alberto Velasco, Murray Seminar at Birkbeck, 6 December 2022 17:00 GMT

A forgery, regardless of the criteria we may apply when studying it – evaluating its artistry or establishing its significance as an illustrative document of a given period – is a deception. The reasons for the production and commercialization of medieval fakes in Catalonia during the first half of the twentieth century are unique and specific, and they are explained by cultural, political and social conditions that, nevertheless, find points of contact in other parts of Europe. Similarities are found especially in those regions and states where medieval past forms a significant part of national historical roots. Catalan nationalism, the fascination with the Middle Ages and the general interest of the Barcelona bourgeoisie in medieval art has led to the appearance in Catalonia of a market for fakes that attempted to meet the growing demand. These are some of the issues addressed in the lecture, where we will deal with some of the most successful forgers, such as the Junyer brothers, and with fake works which, in their day, were certified as genuine by important scholars. Today some of them are in museums, while others make stellar appearances on the art market.

Register here for in-person attendance.

Register here for online attendance.

Published by charlottecook

Charlotte Cook graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in European History from Washington & Lee University in 2019. In 2020 she received her Master’s degree in History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, earning the classification of Merit. Her research explores questions of royal patronage, both by and in honor of rulers, in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century England. She has worked as a researcher and collections assistant at several museums and galleries, and plans to begin her PhD in the autumn of 2022.

One thought on “Lecture: ‘A Beautiful Lie: Medieval Art Forgeries in Catalonia’, Alberto Velasco, Murray Seminar at Birkbeck, 6 December 2022 17:00 GMT

  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has George J. Demotte Forgery Workshop products in the Medieval Department Collection including the King David #38.180.

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