Trump thinks he's the proud owner of an original Renoir painting. This art institute says otherwise.

Alison Main

As if fake Melania wasn't enough, we learned from Trump biographer Tim O'Brien this week that the president's "original Renoir" painting may not even be the real deal.

O'Brien told Vanity Fair's Inside the Hive podcast that he first pressed the Donald on the authenticity of the painting years ago while flying on his decked-out private jet.

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When Trump assured O'Brien that the painting was real, the biographer was skeptical.

"Donald, it's not," he said, according to Vanity Fair. "I grew up in Chicago. That Renoir is called Two Sisters on the Terrace, and it's hanging on the wall at the Art Institute of Chicago. That's not an original." O'Brien said Trump brought up the "original painting" again the next day as they boarded the jet again to return to New York. 

Amanda Hicks, spokeswoman for the Art Institute of Chicago, told the Chicago Tribune that the institute is "satisfied that our version is real." Hicks said the Institute received the painting as a gift in 1933 from a donor who had purchased it for $100,000 from a dealer, who bought it from the artist in 1881. 

The Impressionist painting is featured in the institute's online gallery and you can see it in Gallery 201 in Chicago, alongside other European paintings and sculptures. 

Image: Art institute of chicago

Years after O'Brien's awkward moment with Trump, the painting came back into the picture. 

In the newly-elected president's interview with Lesley Stahl for 60 Minutes in Trump Tower days after the 2016 election, the work of art made its appearance in the background.

"He believes his own lies in a way that lasts for decades," O'Brien told Inside the Hive. "He'll tell the same stories time and time again, regardless of whether or not facts are right in front of his face."

The White House has not responded to questions about the painting. 

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