is a British artist and was convicted of Art forgery who, with John Drewe, perpetrated what has been described as "the biggest art fraud of the 20th century"
When his wife left him in 1985, Myatt gave up teaching to spend more time with his children, and attempted to make a living by painting original works in the style of well known artists. He placed an advertisement in Private Eye magazine which read "Genuine fakes. Nineteenth and twentieth century paintings from £150". He was initially honest about the nature of his paintings, but John Drewe, a regular customer, was able to re-sell some of his paintings as genuine works. When he later told Myatt that Christie's had accepted his "Albert Gleizes" painting as genuine and paid £25,000, Myatt became a willing accomplice to Drewe's fraud, and began to paint more pictures in the style of masters like Roger Bissiere, Marc Chagall, Le Corbusier, Jean Dubuffet, Alberto Giacometti, Matisse, Ben Nicholson, Nicolas de Staël and Graham Sutherland
According to the police estimates, Myatt painted about 200 forgeries in a regular schedule and delivered them to Drewe in London. Police later recovered only sixty of them. Drewe sold them to the auction houses of Christie's, Phillips and Sotheby's and to dealers in London, Paris and New York.
In September 1995, Myatt was arrested by Scotland Yard detectives. He quickly confessed, stating that he had created the paintings using emulsion paint and K-Y Jelly, a mixture that dried quickly but bore little was hardly reminiscent of the original pigments. He estimated that he had earned around £275,000, and offered to return the money and help convict Drewe. He had come to dislike the deception and Drewe.
On 16 April 1996 police raided Drewe's gallery in Reigate, Surrey, south of London, and found materials he had used to forge certificates of authenticity. Drewe had also altered the provenances of genuine paintings to link them to Myatt's forgeries, and added bogus documents to archives of various institutions in order to "prove" the authenticity of the forgeries.
The trial of Myatt and Drewe began in September 1998. On 13 February 1999 John Myatt was sentenced to one year in prison for a conspiracy to defraud. He was released the following June after serving four months of his sentence. Drewe was sentenced to six years for conspiracy and served two.