Peru’s Justice Palace exhibits fake Ricardo Florez paintings – artist’s daughter charges

Peru’s Justice Palace exhibits fake Ricardo Florez paintings – artist’s daughter charges

Ricardo Florez (1893-1983), one of Peru’s greatest painters of the 20th century, is at the center of an embarrassing scandal involving Peru’s Justice Ministry.

It appears that justice officials allowed themselves to be completely snowed last week, exhibiting dozens of counterfeit Ricardo Florez paintings in the Palace of Justice.

President Ollanta Humala attends the inauguration Ricardo Florez exhibit, featuring dozens of fakesPresident Ollanta Humala attended the inauguration of the exhibit, as did Florez’s daughter, who blew the whistle on the alleged forgeries.

Art collector Hans-Wolfgang Schemke definitely has some explaining to do. Florez’s daughter says she told him earlier that he was exhibiting fakes upon viewing forgeries of her father’s work in Schemke’s gallery in Chile. That was not the first time he had been warned, she told She also alleges that her mother told him some time ago, when he showed her photos of some paintings, “My husband didn’t paint that crap.”

La Campesina Sembrando (1934) painted by Ricardo Florez.Schemke told nightly news program 90 Segundos that the paintings had been certified as authentic by international art experts and added that he was evaluating whether to file defamation charges against Florez’s daughter for her declarations.

But La quoted Gabriela Arakaki, organizer of a major 2005 exhibit of Florez’s work at Banco Continental, agreeing that the paintings in question at the Justice Palace were not part of Florez’s known catalog and did not demonstrate the painter’s distinctive technique.

Florez  was born into a wealthy family in Lima, and was expected to follow in his father’s foot steps and become a physician. Instead, he pursued painting, moving to the central Andean village of Tomayquichua in the 1940s. There, drawing on the local culture and amazing landscape, he perfected his impressionism and pointillism techniques.

Beautiful poster-sized prints of Florez’s painting are available for sale at the Central Reserve Bank of Peru Museum (Jr. Antonio Miró Quesada 441-445, historic downtown Lima).

The museum also has several of Florez’s original paintings as part of its permanent collection.

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Authored by: Rick Vecchio

Rick Vecchio, Fertur’s director of development and marketing, was educated at the New School for Social Research and Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. He worked for Pacifica Radio WBAI and as a daily reporter for newspapers in New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts. Then in 1996, he decided it was time to realize a life-long dream of traveling to Peru. He never went back. While serving as Peru country manager for the South American Explorers from 1997-1999, he fell in love with Fertur's founder, Siduith Ferrer, and they married. Over the next six years, he worked as a correspondent for The Associated Press. Meanwhile, Siduith built the business, which he joined in January 2007. Now he designs custom educational and adventure tour packages for corporate and institutional clients, oversees Fertur’s Internet platform and occasionally leads special trips, always with an eye open for a good story to write about.

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