Fake or Fortune?


Series 3 - Episode 2 Constable



Not one undiscovered masterpiece this week, but two. Although that’s assuming the paintings in question turn out to be undiscovered masterpieces; they may of course be forgeries, or somewhere in the shady limbo between. The putative painter of both works is none other than John Constable: one shows Yarmouth jetty and is the heirloom of a west London lady; the other hails from a Detroit couple and shows Brighton beach. Is one, both, or neither the real deal?

As ever, finding out is challenging for the researchers and enjoyable for us, as along the way we learn about Constable’s working habits and enjoy Philip Mould’s heartfelt appreciation of The Haywain.


Fiona Bruce and Philip Mould take on a double challenge as they try to prove two paintings are missing works by one of Britain's best-loved artists, John Constable. They are helping west London woman Gillie Dance, whose picture of Yarmouth Jetty turns out to have a close connection to the artist's family, and American lawyer Tom Toppin, who has been struggling to prove the authenticity of his picture, Sea Beach Brighton, ever since buying it in the early 1990s. Will it be good news for either of the owners?
Education Arts