Fake or Fortune?


Series 3 - Episode 1 Vuillard



Repeats of this art sleuthing series do almost as well as new programmes. This edition tried to establish that a scene of Parisian café life was painted by post-impressionist Edouard Vuillard. The oval painting was bought by a Vuillard fan in a Norfolk sale room for £11,000: a bargain if it’s genuine (a Vuillard once sold for £5 million) but a lot of money for something that is not listed in the official catalogue of the painter’s work.


“I feel in my bones that this picture is right,” says Philip Mould, though sadly his bones ultimately have less say than the programme’s old sparring partner, the Wildenstein Institute in Paris. Weave count, the composition of glue distemper and a secret vault in Geneva all play a part.


Fiona Bruce and Philip Mould investigate more potentially valuable works of art, beginning by helping a man who believes he owns a painting by French post-impressionist Edouard Vuillard. The quest for provenance begins in Geneva, where Philip compares the picture with a huge Vuillard work created in 1919, trying to find out whether the same materials were used in both, while Fiona uncovers clues to the picture's origins in France and Holland. Once they have enough evidence, they seek the approval of the Wildenstein Institute in Paris - but these are the same experts who notoriously rejected a highly credible Monet back in the very first episode. Have they done enough to prove this picture is genuine?
Education Arts