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2016-12-06 16:41:47 来源:网络英语资料下载


  WHAT makes an artist great? Brilliant composition, no doubt. Superb draughtsmanship,certainly. Originality of subject or of concept, sometimes. But surely true greatness means thatthe creator of a painting has brought a certain je ne sais quoi to the work as well.


  There is, however, a type of person who seems to sait perfectly well what that quoi is, and canturn it out on demand. In 1945, for example, a Dutchman named Han van Meegeren facedexecution for selling a national art treasure, in the form of a painting by Vermeer, to HermannGöring, Hitler’s deputy. His defence was that it was a forgery he had painted himself. Whenasked to prove it by copying a Vermeer he scorned the offer. Instead he turned out acompletely new painting, “Jesus Among the Doctors”, in the style of the master, before theeyes of his incredulous inquisitors.



  Göring, who was facing a little local difficulty at the time, did not sue van Meegeren. But thathas not been the experience of Glafira Rosales, an art dealer in New York who admitted thisweek that she has, over the past 15 years, fooled two local commercial art galleries into buying63 forged works of art for more than $30m. She is being forced to give the money back, and isstill awaiting sentence.


  此处细节题,考有关Rosales 的例子内容。

  Ms Rosales is guilty of passing goods off as something they are not, and should take the rapfor the fraud. But although art forgers do a certain amount of economic damage, they alsoprovide public entertainment by exposing the real values that lie at the heart of the artmarket.


  此处词汇理解题:解释take the rap。

  That art market pretends that great artists are inimitable, and that this inimitability justifiesthe often absurd prices their work commands. Most famous artists are good: that is not inquestion. But as forgers like van Meegeren and Pei-Shen Qian, the painter who turned out MsRosales’s Rothkos and Pollocks, show, they are very imitable indeed. If they were not, thedistinction between original and knock-off would always be obvious. As Ms Rosales’scustomers have found, no doubt to their chagrin, it isn’t.


  此处句子理解题,解释黑体字部分。chagrin: 懊悔,懊恼。

  If the purchasers of great art were buying paintings only for their beauty, they would becontent to display fine fakes on their walls. The fury and embarrassment caused by theexposure of a forger suggests this is not so.


  Expensive pictures are primarily what economists call positional goods—things that arevaluable largely because other people can’t have them. The painting on the wall, or thesculpture in the garden, is intended to say as much about its owner’s bank balance as abouthis taste. With most kit a higher price reduces demand. But art, sports cars and fine wineinvert the laws of economics. When the good that is really being purchased is evidence thatthe buyer has forked out a bundle, price spikes cause demand to boom.


  All this makes the scarcity and authenticity that underpin lofty valuations vital. Artists forgetthis at their peril: Damien Hirst’s spot pictures, for instance, plummeted in value when it becameclear that they had been produced in quantities so vast nobody knew quite how many were outthere, and when the market lost faith in a mass-production process whose connection with theoriginal artist was, to say the least, tenuous.


  Ms Rosales’s career is thus a searing social commentary on a business which purports tocelebrate humanity’s highest culture but in which names are more important than aestheticsand experts cannot tell the difference between an original and a fake. Unusual, authentic, fullof meaning—her life itself is surely art, even if the paintings were not.


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