PHL365 – September 13, 2013
The Puzzle of Forgery
We take forgeries to have little, if any, value, but being forged seems irrelevant to a work’s aesthetic value.
Lessing feels that the background of an art piece has no impact on its aesthetic value.
Why do we see Forgeries as Lacking Value?
1. Forgeries lack aesthetic value
2. Forgeries lack moral value – Kind of deception, but deception is not always wrong
Buying something worth 10, and receiving something worth 1.
3. Forgeries lack originality
Two spectrums: Originality & Technique
“Technique is not the kind of thing that can be forged. One cannot forge it because in order to forge it, one must
already possess it, in which case there is no need to forge it. It is not Vermeer’s technique in painting light, which
Van Meegeren forged. It is rather Vermeer’s discovery of this technique and use of it, that is, Vermeer’s originality,
which is forged.” - Les