The Strange Case of Painters Doig and Doige, and the Collector’s Lawsuit

A painting of an Arizona landscape is at the heart of the strangest dispute. Collector Robert Fletcher is suing painter Peter Doig for claiming that the painting of the desert scene is not his work, Graham Bowley of the New York Times has reported. Doig’s lawyers have actually found who is most likely the author: Peter Edward Doige. The latter died in 2012, but his sister believes it may be his brother’s work, as they both spent part of their childhood in Arizona. The plaintiff claims to have been Doig’s probation officer in Canada in the 1970s. Painter Peter Doig, whose works now sell for millions, indeed has spent time in Canada. The name’s similitude is striking, if only separated for an E. It may be just a letter, but it does appear in the painting bought by Fletcher from the former prisoner and painter Doige, whose art teacher at prison recognized the work too. In any case, the case is a disservice to justice. It is also a waste of public and private resources, forcing people to go through the unpleasantness of a court case. Good will and common sense would have just settled the matter in due course. We can only hope it should be the end of lawsuits of this sort. Thankfully, van Gogh, Klimt, Picasso and others are now resting in peace.

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