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

Rodin was as modern as Magritte and Dali, but more touching and troubling than either

Rodin’s studio at Meudon in the suburbs of Paris is huge and filled with light — a sort of combined warehouse, factory and conservatory. It’s crammed with white plaster figures: battered, writhing and fragmentary. This strange, almost surreal effect has been recreated in The Making of Rodin at Tate Modern. The result is more interesting than beautiful. Few exhibits would normally be classified as finished pieces. Most are plaster casts of clay studies, ranging in scale from miniature to gigantic. Quite a lot aren’t even works in progress, more ingredients for art, bits and pieces he could play around with. Rodin called these ‘giblets’ (‘abats’). Their effect can be macabre: