Elmyr de Hory


Born: 1905
Died: 1976 (suicide )
Birthplace: Hungary
Best known as: Art forger and author of the book Fake!

Elmyr (pronounced el-meer) de Hory was a notorious art forger of the 20th century. The flamboyant Hungarian claimed to have sold more than 1,000 fakes to galleries and museums around the world during his career. His insistence that he had passed off paintings by such artists as Picasso, Modigliani and Matisse caused a scandal in the world of art and its experts. After serving a jail sentence in Spain, De Hory was kicked out of the country and later told his story with Clifford Irving in the 1969 book Fake! He apparently committed suicide in 1976, although some believe he faked that, too. De Hory is featured in the Orson Welles film F for Fake (1974) and the documentary Masterpiece or Forgery? (1997).

Extra credit:

During the making of F For Fake, Irving was discovered to be a fraud as well, having faked his “authorized” biography of billionaire Howard Hughes.

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