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Fake or Fortune?
E4 of 4
Series 3 - Episode 4
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“In my bones, I feel this is by Gainsborough,” insists Philip Mould, gazing at a wispy landscape painted on paper and then stuck to a canvas. And as a man with past form on finding ill-gotten Gainsboroughs, his bones are worth listening to. But the scientific evidence of electron microscopes and X-rays and spectrum analysers (or somesuch) may count for more in the end.
Our merry band of art detectives is trying to prove that two paintings of doubtful attribution are by Gainsborough: both are in public collections, so if they stand up to analysis, it will be a gain for the nation. In the end it comes down to the opinion of one scholarly eye, that of the imposing Hugh Belsey.
The focus turns to Britain's public art collections, in which 17,000 paintings are listed as `artist unknown'. From these Philip Mould and his research director Bendor Grosvenor identify several works they believe are by Thomas Gainsborough. They choose two paintings, the first being an 18th-century portrait of St Albans mayor Joseph Gape that Bendor thinks dates back to the artist's days as a high-society portrait painter - although he'll need to convince the world's leading Gainsborough expert. Philip's choice is a rare landscape, painted when the artist was experimenting with dreamlike scenes. But why is conservationist Aviva Burnstock troubled by a distinctive blue pigment? Last in the series.
Full Episode Guide
Fake or Fortune art dealer discovers the painting he sold for £35,000 is now worth £2 million
Philip Mould had spent years trying to prove that the painting was an undiscovered Constable and research by the BBC1 series has finally vindicated him
The £2m question: is this painting a real Constable or a fake?
Fake or Fortune? answers a £500,000 question: is this a genuine Lucian Freud?
Teleprompt: Fake or Fortune?
There's going to be a very special cameo in the final episode of W1A
8 questions we still have after the frankly ridiculous ending to Rellik
Liar's series finale: who killed Andrew Earlham?
Abortion on Trial: a pioneering documentary showing a very different side to Anne Robinson