Skip to content

A Genuine Forger: On the Thriving Black Market for Counterfeit Art

"A Genuine Forger" offers an intimate look into the life of master-forger Guy Ribes, who fooled the art world for over 30 years with his convincing fakes.

Keywords: Art, Forgery, Crime, Picasso, Matisse, Chagall, Guy Ribes, Authenticity, Deception, Jean-Luc Léon. Three words: 'Forgery', 'Art', 'Deception'.


"A Genuine Forger" is a captivating documentary directed by Jean-Luc Léon and released in 2016. The film gives an in-depth look into the life and deceitful art career of Guy Ribes, a master-forger who fooled the art world for three decades with thousands of fake Picassos, Matisses, and Chagalls.


The documentary follows the intriguing story of Guy Ribes, a self-taught artist who became one of the most prolific art forgers in history. Ribes created thousands of imitations of works by renowned artists such as Picasso, Matisse, and Chagall, successfully duping art experts and flooding the market with his convincing fakes.

More Film Analysis


"A Genuine Forger" offers an intimate view into Ribes' techniques and motivations, exploring the fine line between art and forgery. The film delves into the depth of his deception, revealing the astounding level of detail and precision in his forgeries.

Historical and Factual Context

The film provides valuable insights into the art world's vulnerabilities and the thriving black market for counterfeit art. It shows how Ribes exploited these weaknesses to perpetuate his deception for over 30 years.

Key themes in the film

  • Art versus forgery
  • The vulnerability of the art market
  • The thin line between authenticity and deception

Film Comparisons

"A Genuine Forger" can be compared to documentaries like "Art and Craft" and "Beltracchi: The Art of Forgery," which also explore the intriguing world of art forgery.

Noteworthy Moments

One significant moment in the documentary is when Ribes demonstrates his forging technique, revealing the meticulous detail and artistry that goes into creating convincing fakes.


The film has been well-received by audiences, earning an IMDB score of 7.1. Critics praised the documentary for its intimate exploration of Ribes' life and artistry, offering a fascinating glimpse into the shadowy world of art forgery.


"A Genuine Forger" is a must-watch for art enthusiasts, crime documentary fans, and anyone intrigued by stories of deception and ingenuity. Its exploration of the grey areas between art, authenticity, and forgery makes for a captivating viewing experience.

More film information:


  • IMDB score: 7.1
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: N/A
  • Metacritic score: N/A
  • Film festival awards: N/A



  • Guy Ribes: The subject of the documentary, a master forger who duped the art world for over 30 years with his convincing fakes of famous artist's works.



  • Paris, France: The main location where Ribes carried out his forgery operations.

Key Questions Raised by the Film:

  • How could Ribes carry on his forgery for so long without being caught?
  • What does Ribes' story reveal about the vulnerabilities of the art world?
  • How does the film challenge our perceptions of art and authenticity?

I wonder what the film would be in another art form

Image 1
Image 2
Image 3
  1. If this film was a famous book, it would be "The Art Forger" by B.A. Shapiro because of its exploration of art and deceit.
  2. If this film was a famous song, it would be "Smooth Criminal" by Michael Jackson, reflecting Ribes' cunning and deceptive nature.
  3. If this film was a famous piece of art, it would be "The Son of Man" by René Magritte, representing the hidden identity and deceit.
  4. If this film was a famous celebrity, it would be Leonardo DiCaprio for his portrayal of clever and deceptive characters in films like "Catch Me If You Can."
  5. If this film was a color, it would be grey, symbolizing the blurred lines between art and forgery.
  6. If this film was a music style, it would be jazz, with its improvisation and complexity mirroring Ribes' artistry and cunning.