Mattia Jona La Portantina +39 02 8053315

London 1934 - Rome 1996

Eric Hebborn was certainly the most brilliant forger of drawings by Old Masters in the twentieth century. His biographical events, with all their novelistic features, are today known to anyone involved in collecting and studying drawings. Many good sources of information about him are available on the web. The entry on him in Wikipedia is reliable, and YouTube hosts a very interesting documentary on him done in 1991, which was the period of his greatest fame, just after publishing his autobiography, a public confession as a forger, but a forger never punished by law, who mocked the entire world of art trade.
I started dealing with Old Master drawings in the late seventies, so the 'Hebborn experience' was an important part of my professional training. I read his autobiography as soon as it was published: really exciting, even though I wondered why Eric Hebborn was not in jail, whether English or Italian. Anyway, I am certainly grateful to him who, with his forgeries, helped me to understand better the original drawings.