One of the more memorable public appearances of 1976 was that of Tom Keating, painter extraordinary. The Times had revealed that thirteen drawings thought to be of Samuel Palmer's famed Shoreham period were in fact the work of Tom Keating. Several of them had been sold for thousands of pounds. But where was Tom? Newspapers throughout the country searched for him in vain. In his own time he met the Press in the office of Hutchinson - and photographs of the laughing, bearded, elusive artist, standing in front of his own version of Constable's 'Hay Wain' appeared on the front page of almost every newspaper, and on television.
The greater part of this book is devoted to Tom Keating's own life story, as told in the first person to Frank Norman. It is a lively tale - sometimes moving, sometimes hilarious, always intensely human. A cockney house-painter turned artist, he belongs to a breed that has virtually disappeared; the Bohemians, starving in garrets, wholly committed to their art and regardless of economic pressures. His fakes began as an offshoot of his admiration for the masters and ended by baffling the experts. It is full of anecdotes about the seamier side of the trade, of junk dealers and bogus picture restorers, and some of his revelations will horrify the reader.
Overall, the book is in good condition. There is shelf wear and several tears to the dust jacket. Internally, the pages are clean and the binding is tight.