Theo van Wijngaarden

Theo van Wijngaarden (27 February 1874, Rotterdam – 4 November 1952, Voorburg) was a Dutch art forger.

Van Wijngaarden was born in Rotterdam and later lived in The Hague.

The Smiling Girl

Associated often with fellow art forger Han van Meegeren, van Wijngaarden was a lesser artist whose legitimate income came largely from restoration, working with cheaply purchased pictures and moving them to other areas of Europe to sell for a profit.[1] He worked on several of van Meegeren's forgeries, including Frans Hals and Smiling Girl, a painting once thought to be a work of Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, akin to his Girl with a Pearl Earring and donated by collector Andrew W. Mellon to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. in 1937.[2][3] Van Wijngaarden often served as the front man, making the sales deals on van Meegeren's forgeries.[4]

The Lacemaker, another forgery.


  • Jonathan Lopez: The Man Who Made Vermeers. Unvarnishing the Legend of Master Forger Han van Meegeren. Orlando, Harcourt Inc., 2008. ISBN 9780151013418


  1. ^ Godley, John (2007). Master Art Forger - The Story of Han Van Meegeren. p. 88. ISBN 978-1-4067-3417-1.
  2. ^ Vrij Nederland (magazine) (February 26, 1996), p. 35–69.
  3. ^ Radnóti, Sándor (1999). The fake: forgery and its place in art. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-8476-9206-4.
  4. ^ Kreuger, Frederik H. (2005). The Deception. Quantes uitgeverij. p. 214. ISBN 978-90-5959-031-1.