'I wasn’t cock-a-hoop that I’d fooled the experts': Britain's master forger tells all

By Simon Parkin

Shaun Greenhalgh has turned his hand to everyone from Leonardo da Vinci to Lowry. He’s been to prison, but has never revealed the whole picture. Until now

In 2010, shortly after his release from prison, Shaun Greenhalgh walked into his parents’ house in Bromley Cross to find yet another fat package waiting for him on the dresser. Unsolicited parcels arrived often. They always bore a London postmark, but never a sender’s name; they always contained an art book.

On this occasion, Greenhalgh recognised the cover, a Renaissance-style painting of a girl, seen in profile. Snub-nosed, proud-eyed and with the hint of a double chin, she was not a handsome princess, as the book’s title, La Bella Principessa, suggested. Greenhalgh thought he knew her as an old acquaintance: Sally, a girl with whom he had worked in the late 70s at the Co-op butchery. The book, by the respected art historian Martin Kemp, argued that the painting was a lost work by Leonardo da Vinci. But Greenhalgh believed it to be one of his own: painted when he was 18 on to a piece of 16th-century vellum; he remembered buying the vellum from an antique shop close to his family’s council house in Bolton.

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Source: ‘I wasn’t cock-a-hoop that I’d fooled the experts': Britain’s master forger tells all

    

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