Fakes, Forgeries & New Discoveries

“It is indeed an error to collect a forgery, but it is a sin to stamp a genuine piece with the seal of falsehood” – Max J. Friedländer.

Every collector, museum curator and art dealer lives in fear of being deceived by a fake or forgery. Indeed, art history is littered with the handiworks of forgers who have deceived the art market for centuries. Do they do so for financial gain? Is it the thrill of deception? Or is it to prove that they are superior and more talented than the artists they copy and can fool the experts?

This lecture will examine some of the most famous fakes and forgeries in western art that fooled scholars, scientists and art historians from the 16th century through to today.  It is not just “masterpieces” by Vermeer, Rembrandt, Renoir, held in museum collections which have been involved.  From Tudor portraits to Turners, and from Gainsborough to Freud, art in English country houses and private collections have also been revealed to be not what they seem.

Scholar and art dealer, Angus Haldane, will discuss connoisseurship and the scientific techniques used to reveal the truth behind the layers of varnish, oil paint, canvas and secrets. He will also highlight examples of re-attributions—both positive and negative—of paintings in the National Trust’s collection which grace the walls of some of the UK’s most loved historic homes.

Thank you to our co-sponsor: The Union League Legacy Foundation

Thank you to our cultural co-sponsors: The Oxford & Cambridge Society of New England; Oxford & Cambridge Society of San Diego; Washington Decorative Arts Forum; The American Scottish Foundation

An Unknown Cardinal by manner of Titian. Petworth House. ©National Trust Images

Angus Haldane

Angus Haldane

Angus Haldane

Angus is the Director of Haldane Fine Art, an art dealership and consultancy based in London. He is also an independent curator and art historian. Angus studied classics at Oxford University, specializing in history, literature and antique sculpture and graduated from the Courtauld Institute of Fine Arts with an MA in Byzantine and early Renaissance art. He worked for many years as a senior specialist in paintings at Christie’s and Sotheby’s. In addition to art dealing, he has catalogued museum collections and provides consultancy to some of London’s leading art advisors. Angus has appeared as an art commentator on the BBC and CNN. His first book is Face of War: Portraits of the English Civil Wars and a second volume on the Portraiture of the American War of Revolution is soon to be forthcoming. He is a frequent and popular lecturer for Royal Oak.


Wednesday, September 23rd at 2:00 pm (eastern)

Online via Zoom Webinar

$15, members*; $20 non-members

Free to Heritage Circle members


Rent the recorded lecture to watch at your leisure between Thursday, September 24th and Monday, September 28th

$15 members*, $20 non-members

Free to Heritage Circle members

The Zoom video link will be sent to you on Thursday, September 24th at 12:00 p.m. (eastern). 
The rental video will be hosted on the Zoom website and only available for streaming until Monday, September 28th at 11:59 p.m. (eastern).  The video will not be available after that date and time. It cannot be downloaded.