Friday, September 10, 2010

Richard McClintock, two years less a day


I'm not quite certain how to interpret this, but Richard McClintock got sentenced to two years in prison, less one day after being found guilty of forging a bunch of paintings.

The reason I am uncertain has everything to do with the nature of the reporting. In yesterday's Le Soleil, Guy Benjamin writes that he forged 90 paintings by more than 20 different painters, and that an art collector from Toronto spent $600 thinking they were getting a bargain.

But back in January, Sylvain Trépanier from the Journal du Quebec wrote that the 90 paintings had a value of $1,500,000, or about $17,000/each. And that he was being accused of selling two fake Marcel Barbeau paintings for $3,500/each.

Richard Hénault of Le Soleil wrote last January that McClintock forged 73 paintings by 25 different artists, but didn't mention prices or value.

Éric Thibault of the Journal du Quebec also writes about 73 paintings by 25 different artists, however he does mention certain details, such as the names of two galleries, who I presume bought the fake Barbeau's: Galerie Aux Maîtres Anciens and Galerie L'Art Ancien.

Rene Bruemmer, writing in The Gazette, mentions selling two paintings to unnamed Montreal art galleries at a price of $25,000/each, and increases the total amount of forged paintings to 80.

At some point I'm going to have to go find the judgment and corresponding documents and perhaps talk to someone involved with the Sûreté du Québec's équipe d’enquête sur les crimes en matière d’œuvres d’art if I want to get to the bottom of this and figure out what really happened.

[Update a couple of hours later: In Germany, Petra Kujau, was fined $380,000 this week and given a two-year suspended sentence for selling 300 fake forgeries! - via Museum Security Network]