CHICAGO (CBS) — A former curator for the Art Institute of Chicago said there’s no chance the museum has a fake Renoir painting and President Donald Trump has the original as he reportedly has claimed.
Biographer and New York Times business reporter told Vanity Fair that Trump has often told him he owns “Two Sisters (On the Terrace)” by 19th Century French impressionist Pierre-August Renoir.
O’Brien, who grew up in Chicago, said he informed Trump he is mistaken, and the original hangs in the Art Institute of Chicago, but the president repeatedly has insisted he has the real one.
A spokeswoman for the Art Institute would only confirm the painting is part of its permanent collection, and would not weigh in on Trump’s claims, but former curator of European painting Richard Brettell said the president’s painting definitely is not authentic.
“It is a copy. It is a photographic reproduction. It is a forgery. It is something that’s not an original object by Renoir,” Brettell said. “There are many works of art that are produced to look like great works of art, and sold in a kind of secondary market or through dubious channels; sometimes for large sums of money to people who really don’t have good advisors, or don’t ask the right people.”
Brettell said there’s no chance Renoir created two versions of the painting.
“No, it’s not possible. He didn’t do it in other cases,” he said.
Brettell also said there’s no chance the Art Institute has a fake.
“There is no chance. Zero chance,” he said.
Brettell said he’s familiar with reports that President Trump paid $10 million for his painting.
“Which I can’t really believe, frankly, but you know what? I don’t know that that’s not true,” he said. “If it is true, I feel badly for him.”