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Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Can you help me find photographs of two very infamous people in Art History: Yves Chaudron and Edouardo de Valfierno?

Asked by Espiritus_Corvus (10276 points ) March 7th, 2014

I could use a little help from the Fluther community on this one. I’ve searched the net far and wide, but haven’t had any luck. A knowledge of French and Spanish language sources might be helpful in this search. The ability to navigate old police archives would be invaluable. Paris and Buenos Aires police archives between 1870 through 1920, specifically.

1: Yves Chaudron: French, minor artist, professional art restorer, master art forger. I believe he died in his sixties in the early 1930s. Chaudron was reputed to be one of the most gifted counterfeiter in the art world. A respected conservator but really a master forger. From his studio in the Bohemian artist district of Montmarte, Chaudron would copy great paintings which had been lost or stolen, which his collaborator the Edouardo Marquis of Valfierno would then sell on to collectors. He is thought to be responsible for making 6 impeccable copies of Leonardo da Vinci’s La Gioconda in the famous 1911 Mona Lisa painting theft from the Louvre. He left a rather large footprint, but remakably, there doesn’t seem to have one photograph of him anywhere on the net.

2: Edouardo de Valfierno: Argentinian aristrocrat, art dealer, seller of forged art, confidence man. Died in his sixties in the late 1920s. The Marquis de Valfierno was a high-end grifter from Argentina who made his living by selling fake art and antiques to collectors, museums, and even other dealers. Valfierno specialized in Spanish masters such as Bartolomé Murillo, DiegoVelázquez, and El Greco through his studio in Buenos Aires and later in Paris and London. He is said to be the mastermind behind the 1911 Mona Lisa painting theft. So far, I have not been able to find one photograph of him anywhere on the net.

If you like questions on Art or art history and relic provenance, you might want to see these questions as well: "HERE":http://www.fluther.com/169650/will-you-tell-us-about-a-work-of-art-or-literature/
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7 Answers

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@ibstubro Thank you, but you’re running into the same erroneous dead ends I’ve been dealing with. Your Chaudron photos are actually those of Vincente Perugia, the carpenter who stole the Mona Lisa. And your Valfierno is actually Paris police inspector and pioneer criminologist Alphonse Bertillon, the expert who was called into the case to analyze fingerprints found on the Mona Lisa frame. These photos were mislabled on a site years ago and sadly have gone viral. Research is interesting, no?

gailcalled's avatar

@ibstubro: A+ for effort. Did you notice that among that list of scoundrels (my Spanish isn’t very good) are Bernie Madoff, Charles Ponzi, and Milli Vanilli also?

Delincuentes e impostores históricos.

I am enjoying this.

ibstubro's avatar

Dang, @Espiritus_Corvus.
Thanks to whoever gave me brownie points, then.

Thanks, @gailcalled. I was just trying to be helpful. I hoped that the ‘non-English publication’ might be why some of it had escaped the notice of Espiritus_Corvus.

Disappointing.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Don’t be disappointed, Ibstubro. Now you know that whenever you come to a site that shows Peruggia as Chaudron and Bertillon as Valfierno, they can be eliminated and you can quickly move on. It’s when you see a new face above those names that you know you may be onto something. All info is valuable.

These guys were quite good at what they did. They made some money, they lasted decades and they were quite famous within the international demimonde they operated in. Valfierno travelled from Buenos Aires to Paris, London, New York—and very possibly Madrid and Berlin—on business. He had to have one or more passports. Chaudron was the go-to man for art forgery and official documents and very possibly garnered a police record sometime along the way. They left a footprint. There must be photos somewhere. A fluency in French would be most helpful.

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