Fascinating forgeries: Art and Artifice – Fakes from the Collection, at the Courtauld, reviewed

In 1998 curators at the Courtauld Institute received an anonymous phone call informing them that 11 drawings in their collection were fakes. The caller intimated that he was an associate of the notorious forger Eric Hebborn, who had claimed in his 1991 memoir, Drawn to Trouble, to have sold the institute a fake Rowlandson. The Sienese turned their training as restorers of Renaissance paintings to more profitable use The Courtauld had, in fact, already rumbled the Rowlandson before Hebborn boasted of putting one over on it; now it looked like it could be more than one. The other ten included three sketches by Tiepolo, three by Guardi and a drawing