This book, born from real observations, tells how a little crook finds himself propelled into the opaque world of art thanks to a romantic encounter. The plot is based on characters that the author has met or imagined while visiting merchants and auction houses. If an investigation that took place after the publication of this book triggered numerous lawsuits, the novel allows information little known to the general public to leak out.
Mention is made in this book of several very important paintings: a Cranach, a Gentileschi, a F. Hals, a Parmesan, a Bruegel, others… Suggesting that they are probably fakes, the author explains, in veiled words, how they were made and what techniques were used by a genius forger who has long plagued Italy.
Interviewed on television, the author declared that despite appearances, many old paintings were fake, but that the market had to be fed because of the scarcity of products and the enormous purchasing power of investors. He spoke, on this occasion, of a false Frans Hals given as authentic by all scientific laboratories, including that of the Louvre, and by most experts. This was not taken seriously and was considered to be a pure fictional supposition. Coincidence? These same paintings, attributed and declared authentic by distinguished experts, analyzed by prestigious laboratories, all belonged to a certain G. Ruffini who, himself, strangely resembled Giordano, the forger of the novel.
From there, fiction and reality intertwined: “What if this novel was true? What if these supposedly authentic and attributed paintings were really fakes? thought a number of people.