I'm sorry.... what?
"A canvas by beloved U.S. painter Norman Rockwell, discovered hidden behind a false wall earlier this year, has sold at auction for a record $15.4 million"There are some many juicy things about this story that I don't know where to start...
But... for starters...
1. Rockwell himself apparently sold the work in question - the really famous painting titled "Breaking Home Ties" - himself to his friend, an illustrator and cartoonist named Don Trachte, for $900 bucks!
Original Rockwell "Breaking Home Ties"
2. For some reason Trachte then copied this painting and other works of art (including a Hopper) in his collection and then hid the originals behind a false wall in his studio while displaying the replicas as the originals!
Don Trachte's Copy of Rockwell's "Breaking Home Ties"
3. So then Trachte's sons sent their father's Rockwell copy (and what they believed to be the real painting) to the Norman Rockwell Museum. And "despite inconsistencies between the canvas and the Saturday Evening Post cover, it went on display in 2003."
"Trachte died in 2005, never having revealed his secret, but his sons had nagging suspicions about the authenticity of the canvas. This spring, after a renewed search of their father's studio, they discovered the false wall and the original canvases.Check out the fake wall (including a video clip of the whole discovery) and comparisons between the paintings here.
In addition to Breaking Home Ties and other Rockwell works, the Sotheby's event also saw the sale of Edward Hopper's Hotel Window for $26.8 million US.
The large-scale canvas, painted in 1955 and displayed at the Whitney Museum of American Art this summer, also set a new record high price for the artist's work."