ARTISTS Bios and Information

Tom Keating

The most important forger of the 20th Century. — He lived in Brentwood during the Old Baily trial then moved to Dedham , where his painting is still in the village church! Tom Keating: (1917-1984) Tom Keating was the most important forger of the 20th Century. He lived in Brentwood during the Old Baily trial then moved to Dedham , where his painting is still in the village church! Tom Keating: (1917-1984) British Thomas Patrick Keating, was a true Cockney born in Lewisham. He made a particular speciality out of producing forged water-colours by Samuel Palmer and fine oil paintings by Dutch, Flemish, English and French old masters. The infamous yet loveable British rogue was a remarkable forger who certainly showed up all the experts in a forgery career which landed him in jail charged for conspiracy to defraud! Born into a poor family, he failed to achieve any real fame in the art world and felt himself shunned and just like many artists before and indeed after him, He turned to faking to prove his talent. This was likely to get his own back on society as Keating saw the art world and in particular the gallery system as ‘utterly rotten.’ As he himself wrote; “avant-garde fashion, with critics and dealers often conniving to line their own pockets at the expense both of naive collectors and impoverished artists”. Tom Keating effectively avenged himself by producing forgeries of all sorts in a prolfic and remarkable career. Oil paintings, water colours and drawings flowed out of his studio, all which were certified as genuine works by artists such as Gainsborough, Renoir, Van Dongen, Degas, Fragonard, Boucher, Modigliani and of course Samuel Palmer. One clear and important point that was missed was that Keating planted “time bombs” in all his pictures, Often writing snide or blatantly rude comments in lead white on the canvas before he started the painting, knowing full well that if the works were examined properly in the first place and x rayed, they’d show up! Not satisfied with just that, he would always plant obvious flaws within the compositions and often used materials which out dated the original time frame of the fake he’d painted by hundreds of years. Admitting to painting over 200 Kornelius Kreighof pastiches which are still floating around Canada somewhere today, he was prolific to say the least and of his John Constables and other fine reproductions and there is only an guestimate of what is out there! He is reported to forged over 2,000 paintings by something like 100 artists. One remarkable piece was the Haywain – which he painted backwards! Ironically, after confessing in 1976, he was to star in his own major television program on Channel 4 in the UK on how to paint like the masters!

Thomas Patrick Keating, was a true Cockney born in Lewisham. He made a particular speciality out of producing forged water-colours by Samuel Palmer and fine oil paintings by Dutch, Flemish, English and French old masters. The infamous yet loveable British rogue was a remarkable forger who certainly showed up all the experts in a forgery career which landed him in jail charged for conspiracy to defraud! Born into a poor family, he failed to achieve any real fame in the art world and felt himself shunned and just like many artists before and indeed after him, He turned to faking to prove his talent. This was likely to get his own back on society as Keating saw the art world and in particular the gallery system as ‘utterly rotten.’ As he himself wrote; “avant-garde fashion, with critics and dealers often conniving to line their own pockets at the expense both of naive collectors and impoverished artists”. Tom Keating effectively avenged himself by producing forgeries of all sorts in a prolfic and remarkable career. Oil paintings, water colours and drawings flowed out of his studio, all which were certified as genuine works by artists such as Gainsborough, Renoir, Van Dongen, Degas, Fragonard, Boucher, Modigliani and of course Samuel Palmer. One clear and important point that was missed was that Keating planted “time bombs” in all his pictures, Often writing snide or blatantly rude comments in lead white on the canvas before he started the painting, knowing full well that if the works were examined properly in the first place and x rayed, they’d show up! Not satisfied with just that, he would always plant obvious flaws within the compositions and often used materials which out dated the original time frame of the fake he’d painted by hundreds of years. Admitting to painting over 200 Kornelius Kreighof pastiches which are still floating around Canada somewhere today, he was prolific to say the least and of his John Constables and other fine reproductions and there is only an guestimate of what is out there! He is reported to forged over 2,000 paintings by something like 100 artists. One remarkable piece was the Haywain – which he painted backwards! Ironically, after confessing in 1976, he was to star in his own major television program on Channel 4 in the UK on how to paint like the masters!