The Art Forger

The Art Forger

A Novel

eBook - 2012
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Workman Press.

Don't miss B. A. Shapiro's new novel, The Collector's Apprentice, available now!

Almost twenty-five years after the infamous art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum—still the largest unsolved art theft in history—one of the stolen Degas paintings is delivered to the Boston studio of a young artist. Claire Roth has entered into a Faustian bargain with a powerful gallery owner by agreeing to forge the Degas in exchange for a one-woman show in his renowned gallery. But as she begins her work, she starts to suspect that this long-missing masterpiece—the very one that had been hanging at the Gardner for one hundred years—may itself be a forgery. The Art Forger is a thrilling novel about seeing—and not seeing—the secrets that lie beneath the canvas. 

Baker & Taylor
An artist whose reputation has been tarnished stumbles on a piece of art that disappeared twenty-five years ago and agrees to forge it for a gallery owner, until she realizes that the art she is forging may itself be a forgery.

Publisher: Chapel Hill, N.C. : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2012
ISBN: 9781616203184
Characteristics: 1 online resource


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
ArapahoeCynthiaK Apr 14, 2017

Budding artist's career derailed by an affair and ends up painting reproductions.....great for anyone interested in the art world, collecting and forgery!

I would suggest also "Provenance" by Laney Salisbury...non-fiction, beautifully written, about a gifted copier who really was hired (and trapped) by a highly successful con man, who's deceptions rattled (probably still does!) some of the greatest art collections in the world. But fiction is fun too, esp well done like this one.

afarr16 Sep 10, 2014

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

Dec 31, 2013

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.

hania4987 Oct 26, 2013

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

Sep 06, 2013

July 2014

Aug 05, 2013

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

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

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.

View All Comments


Add a Summary
siammarino Jul 17, 2014

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

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?

APlazek Feb 27, 2013

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.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at SJCPL

To Top