Iceland’s best known art forger, Sigurður Þorláksson, maintained in an interview with Danish weekly Rapport in 1974 that the National Gallery of Denmark’s pride and joy, a Picasso painting, is a forgery he sold to a Danish fisherman in Iceland for booze and smokes.
Copenhagen. Photo: Páll Stefánsson/Iceland Review.
The old story was brought up on RÚV’s Rás 1 radio program Inni on Friday.
“I painted the picture in 1952 after a photograph, originally to practice. Then one day, when I was broke, I sold the picture to a Danish steersman for a box of whiskey and five cartons of cigarettes.” The painting in question is one of the most valuable pieces in the National Gallery of Denmark’s collection, Sigurður claimed.
“I made two other ‘Picasso paintings,’ one with watercolors which hangs on the wall of one of Copenhagen’s most famous art collectors,” Sigurður went on. “To me, art is nothing but imitating the works of others. Art is just snobbery. That’s why it’s so easy to make fools out of people.”