A $3 million missing Matisse painting that had been stolen nearly 10 years ago and swapped for a fake at a Venezuelan museum has reportedly been recovered by FBI agents posing as art collectors at the Loews Hotel in Miami Beach Tuesday. A man and a woman allegedly tried to sell Henri Matisse’s 1925 ”Odalisque in Red Pants” to undercover agents for $1.5 million, reported ABC’s Miami affiliate WPLG.
This story also quotes an Emory University art historian on the quality of the fake:
“The person who made the fake is quite intelligent,” said Todd Cronan, a professor of art history at Emory University in Atlanta.
Cronan said that what made the counterfeit different from the original was the shadow on the woman’s left arm.
“It merges the body with the background,” he said. “That’s something Matisse refused to do in this period.”