Eric Hebborn was a forger of incredible skill who was murdered on the eleventh of January, 2002. His body was found on a street in Rome with his skull broken. During his life he claimed to have flooded the European art market with nearly one thousand forgeries, many of which were authenticated by renowned art historians.

Hebborn was born in 1934 to poor Cockney parents. He was often beaten by his mother, from whom he claims to have inherited his love of boxing. Eric continued his troubled young life by burning down his school at the age of eight. After that he was sent to a reform school, where his talents as a draughtsman were discovered. Hebborn exhibited his work at the Maldon Art Club at the age of fifteen, an age normally considered far too young to join. Eventually Hebborn attended the Royal Academy, earned every major prize for drawing, and was given a Rome Scholarship for study in Italy.

While he was a student, Hebborn found work with a restorer named George Aczel. Restoring paintings for Aczel included doctoring them by adding images as well as the usual retouching and cleaning. It was this work that first signaled to Hebborn that there was money to be made not only by restoring old masterpieces, but by recreating them and selling them as the original.

Hebborn's works have graced the walls of such collections as the British Museum, the Pierpont Morgan Library, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington. He claims to have forged drawings by such artists as Mantegna, Rubens, Van Dyck, Boucher, Poussin, and Tiepolo, as well as sculpture by many important artists.

He wrote two books during his lifetime, an autobiography, Drawn to Trouble (also known as Master Faker), and a recent instructional book, The Faker's Handbook. Both of these texts, most especially the former, helped to drive down prices in the art world due to his claims of numerous forgeries.

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