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Distributed for Scheidegger & Spiess

Psychoanalyst Meets Helene and Wolfgang Beltracchi

Artist Couple Meets Jeannette Fischer

The first book about Wolfgang Beltracchi, painter and legendary art forger from a psychoanalytical perspective.
Wolfgang Beltracchi is a phenomenon of the international art world. His name is inextricably entwined with one of the greatest upheavals in the global art market. Emulating numerous world-famous artists, he developed and painted new paintings, continued their narrations and biography, and concluded them with a forged signature. His wife Helene Beltracchi then smuggled them onto the art market. Many experts were deceived by Beltracchi’s stupendous skill, and auctioneers cast many doubts aside in the face of insatiable market demand, selling the paintings as authentic works by the purported artists.
Reading the artistic handwriting of a painting requires an exceptional willingness and ability to be able to empathize and identify with the artist until you “can feel what the other feels” (Wolfgang Beltracchi). Through extensive discussions with the painter and his wife, the psychoanalyst Jeannette Fischer explored this capability that is so pronounced for Beltracchi. In this new book, she places this capability in relation to the disappearance of Beltracchi’s own signature. As with her previous highly successful book about the performance artist Marina Abramovic, Jeannette Fischer has created an exceptionally insightful portrait of a fascinating artist personality.

188 pages | 20 color plates | 4 1/2 x 6 1/2

Art: Art--General Studies

Psychology: Clinical Psychology

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"Through a series of in-depth conversations, carried out over coffee and wine at the pair's studio in Switzerland following their release from prison, she explores their motives, artistic processes and family histories. The result is a complex and compelling portrait of a man (the book primarily focuses on Wolfgang, at his wife's request) for whom forgery was a creative art form — and for whom deception became something of a game."


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