Fake or Fortune?

Series 2 - 3. Van Dyck: What Lies Beneath

Radio Times
Review by:
David Butcher

“Has something gone terribly wrong?” frets Fiona Bruce as she inspects tonight’s painting in mid-restoration.

Well yes, it may have done. The work in question is a “sleeper”, a masterpiece by Van Dyck hidden for centuries by later paint — or at least, that’s what our roguish dealer Philip Mould fervently hopes.

He bought the portrait of Charles I’s wife Henrietta Maria at auction for the princely sum of £7,000. If he’s right, and under the clumsy overpaint there’s a kosher Van Dyck, it will be worth a hundred times that.

But stripping back the layers of history is a ticklish task: 500 hours of restoration work and some cunning sleuthing over torn labels on the back may not settle the big question: is it a Van Dyck? Or has Mould come
a cropper? Suddenly, those urbane features are looking defensive...

About this programme

3/3. The tables are turned as art detective Philip Mould puts one of his own finds under the microscope, a painting he bought that he believes could be the work of 17th-century artist Anthony van Dyck. If he is right, it could be worth a small fortune. But to prove it, the piece will have to undergo a thorough restoration, involving the removal of layers of paint - and then be authenticated by an impartial expert. Will Philip's reputation - and the painting - make it to the end of the journey unscathed? Last in the series.

Cast and crew

Cast

Presenter
Fiona Bruce
Presenter
Philip Mould

Crew

Director
Rachel Jardine
Producer
Rachel Jardine
Series Producer
Simon Shaw
Categories
Arts
Education

Add new comment