'Fake art' - Trump 'boasts he has original Renoir' - but Chicago gallery insists it is hanging on their walls
Donald Trump reportedly claims to own an original Renoir painting - despite a gallery in Chicago insisting there is only one real version of the Two Sisters artwork and it's hanging on their walls.
Tim O'Brien, Mr Trump's biographer, first spotted the painting by the French impressionist on the billionaire's private jet years ago.
“You know, that’s an original Renoir,” Mr O'Brien says he was told by the businessman, recounting the meeting on Vanity Fair’s “Inside the Hive” podcast.
“Donald, it’s not," he responded. "I grew up in Chicago, that Renoir is called Two Sisters (on the Terrace), and it’s hanging on a wall at the Art Institute of Chicago. That’s not an original.”
But Mr Trump would not be deterred, it seems. The following day, Mr Trump boasted of the painting's authenticity to him again, Mr O'Brien said.
The painting now hangs in Trump Tower, the president's residence in New York, where it was seen in the background during a “60 Minutes” interview following his 2016 election victory.
“I’m sure he’s still telling people who come into the apartment, ‘It’s an original, it’s an original',” Mr O’Brien said.
“He believes his own lies in a way that lasts for decades. He’ll tell the same stories time and time again, regardless of whether or not facts are right in front of his face.”
The Art Institute was given the painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir in 1933, spokeswoman Amanda Hicks told the Chicago Tribune.
She said it was a gift from Annie Swan Coburn, who bought it for $100,000 from the art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel, who purchased it from the artist himself in 1881.
Ms Hicks said the institute was “satisfied that our version is real”.
The White House did not comment, the paper reported.
Art historians also believe Mr Trump's version is not the real thing.
"The painting has long been known and has, since its gift to the Art Institute of Chicago in 1933, been one of the treasures of the museum," Richard Brettell, chair of aesthetic studies at the University of Texas, told ArtNet.
"Can President Trump own another version? From my trained eye looking at a pretty good photograph of Mrs. Trump in their penthouse at Trump Tower, it seems clearly to be a copy of that famous Chicago picture."
Richard Rand, associate director for collections at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, echoed the opinion.
“If I were presented with a picture that was an exact copy of a famous Renoir hanging in a museum, I would guess it was probably a reproduction of some kind,” he told the website.