About the BookApperancesResearchPraiseBuyContact



"Respins the van Meegeren saga in profoundly researched, focused, absorbing depth"

—Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker

(click for the New Yorker article)

"My advice: Get a copy of Jonathan Lopez's terrific new book, The Man Who Made Vermeers. It's so jam-packed and nicely written that you'll burn right through it."

—Christopher Knight , The Los Angeles Times

(click for the L.A. Times article)

Amazon Best Books of 2008 Banner

The Man Who Made Vermeers—Editors' Choice at Amazon.com: Top 10 Books of 2008 (Arts Category)

"In his thoughtful and elegantly written account — which he calls 'a liar's biography' — Jonathan Lopez gives the story unexpected depth. Van Meegeren is exposed not merely as an unprincipled peddler of phony masterpieces but as an opportunist with Nazi convictions....Mr. Lopez is steeped in the literature of the period and it shows to fine effect."

— Eric Ormsby, The New York Sun

"One of the most audacious careers in the annals of art fraud — a journey superbly etched by Jonathan Lopez in his absorbing history The Man Who Made

Salon.com (click for Salon.com article)

"I can say with authority that Jonathan Lopez's "The Man Who Made Vermeers: Unvarnishing the Legend of Master Forger Han van Meegeren" makes for a terrific read, even by flashlight as you lay on top of sweat-soaked sheets wishing you'd thought to buy a battery-operated fan before Hurricane Ike struck."

— Douglas Britt, The Houston Chronicle

(click here for the Houston Chronicle article)

"Thoughtful and detailed"

Chicago Tribune (click for Chicago Tribune article)

"A rich trove of reference not only for Van Meegeren, but also for the art world between the wars and the forces that shaped opinions and destinies during that troubled era."

The New Criterion

"Here is a serious, funny, ironic, informative study of a delicious scoundrel that reads like a novel."
Virginia Quarterly Review

"Has added greatly to our understanding of the subject."

—James Fenton, The New York Review of Books

"Jonathan Lopez deftly reveals that the man who made the fake Vermeers was quite a fake himself."

The Newark Star-Ledger

"A wonderful book and perfectly done."

The Compulsive Reader

"First-rate research and narrative skill propel this tale of greed, war and skillful manipulation of the popular imagination."

"By placing Van Meegeren more firmly in his cultural context than he has yet been, this book adds much to our understanding of how he suceeded in his crimes and of how wrong and evil ideas can corrupt art and artists."

—John Dorfman, Art & Antiques

(Starred Review ) "In this engaging study, art historian Lopez examines the fascinating case of Han van Meegeren, a notorious Dutch art forger. Van Meegeren, who sold Hermann Goering a fake Vermeer, was charged with collaboration; he became a folk hero for duping the Nazi leader. But according to Lopez, van Meegeren was a successful forger long before WWII, and contrary to van Meegeren's claim that he was avenging himself on the art critics who had scorned his own work, Lopez says he was motivated by financial gain and Nazi sympathies: 'What is a forger if not a closeted Übermensch, an artist who secretly takes history itself for his canvas?' Lopez asks provocatively. The author gives a vivid portrait of the 1920s Hague, a stylish place of “mischief and artifice” where van Meegeren learned his trade, and brilliantly examines the influence of Nazi Volksgeist imagery on van Meegeren's The Supper at Emmaus, part of his forged biblical Vermeer series. Lopez's writing is witty, crisp and vigorous, his research scrupulous and his pacing dynamic."

Publishers Weekly

"Art historian Jonathan Lopez has now raised the bar for any future books on the forger with The Man Who Made Vermeers."

The Washington Times

"Lopez has spent years combing through Dutch, German, British, and American archives to bring to light an impressive quantity of new material, which he presents with irresistible elegance. "
NRC Handelsblad

"an astonishing tale"

Harvard Magazine (click for Harvard Magazine)

“From the outrageous swindles he perpetrated in Vermeer's name to the nefarious dealings he had with the Nazis in occupied Holland, Han van Meegeren led an unforgettable, almost unbelievable life. Witty, erudite, and utterly compelling, Jonathan Lopez's account of the twentieth century's most notorious art forger is a must-read--a book that makes Van Meegeren's fake Vermeers even more fascinating, I dare say, than the Delft master's originals.”
— Caroline Weber, author of Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore  to the Revolution

“Jonathan Lopez's remarkable book is at once a thrilling detective story and a meticulously researched study in art and social history. We learn not only how - but also why - Van Meegeren came to paint the forgeries that became sensations on the international art market between the wars.”
— Walter Liedtke, Curator of European Paintings, Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Man Who Made Vermeers shatters the popular image of Han van Meegeren as a lone gunman or picaresque rogue. Jonathan Lopez reveals the master forger as an arch-opportunist, a cunning liar, and a fervent sympathizer of the fascist cause from as early as 1928. Deftly reconstructing an insidious network of illicit trade in the art market's underworld, Lopez allows few reputations to emerge unscathed in this gripping and delicious book.”
— Koen Kleijn, De Groene Amsterdammer

More reviews and information here>

The Man Who Made Vermeers in the news:

Errol Morris - Zoom - NYTimes.com

The Essential Vermeer


Terry Teachout - Commentary

Wall Street Pit

Alberti's Window


How Stuff Works

Fauna: Flowers & Love


2nd Sex

Culture Making

Bedford Square


Dubious Quality




Could you spot a fake? See more images from the book here in the slide show.

Buy the book Buy the book UK Buy the book US Buy the book


Jonathan Lopez podcast from ABC Radio on the Man Who Made Vermeers Podcast:

Jonathan Lopez discusses The Man Who Made Vermeers on ABC Radio National's "Late Night Live" with Phillip Adams. Download podcast.



Jonathan LopezAbout the BookAppearancesBuy the BookResearchContact

Design by Adrian Kinloch