Han van Meegeren, Christ and the Woman taken in Adultery - The Netherlands, c. 1942
Hermann Göring paid 1 650 000 guilders for this work, convinced that he was buying a painting by Johannes Vermeer. Han van Meegeren made millions selling his own paintings as works by Dutch Old Masters. He fooled art experts and Nazi collectors alike. When threatened with charges of collaboration after the war, he confessed to the lesser crime of forgery. From traitor he suddenly became a national hero, a man who swindled Göring. Yet perhaps creating this palatable public image was his last great trick! Oil on canvas.