Tuesday, 2 October 2012

BBC Fake or Fortune Labels



BBC Fake or Fortune Labels
19th Century labels on the back of the painting are the key to finding the history of a painting maybe by Sir Anthony Van Dyck.

From the BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01mxxz6
Art detective Philip Mould has a reputation for finding sleepers; paintings that hide dark secrets. His most remarkable finds are pictures whose true authorship has been confused, masterpieces lost beneath years of dirt and over-painting. Although Philip is used to investigating other people's paintings, this time the tables are turned as Philip's own purchase is put under the microscope.

With his keen-eyed researcher Bendor Grosvenor, Philip has bought a painting that he says could be the find of a lifetime; a work by our most important portrait painter, Sir Anthony Van Dyck, one which is worth a small fortune. The only problem is that, in order to prove it, he will have to remove later layers of paint to uncover the truth. "It's a bit like open heart surgery" says Philip, as the expensive and irreversible process begins.

A thorough restoration is needed, and inches of canvas are cut away as an earlier image begins to appear. Fiona is not convinced, and insists that the work undergoes a thorough investigation and is authenticated by an independent Van Dyck expert. Will Philip's reputation and the painting make it to the end of the journey unscathed?


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