Fake or Fortune?


Series 5 - Episode 4 Portraits



Sometimes you watch Fake or Fortune and you think, “This is great but could they crack on a bit, maybe talk about another picture or a different artist for a bit?” The trouble is that usually, with one artwork per hour-long programme, presenters Philip Mould and Fiona Bruce have to eke out the story; but not tonight.

In an experiment that might presage a change of format for the next series, we get a programme peering behind the canvas of not one but three works. And as a result we learn a little about Willem de Kooning (who you may have heard of), Adolph von Menzel and Phillip Mercier (who I bet you haven’t). Are any of three portraits brought in by viewers the real deal?

Uncovering the truth takes the pair on an informative trawl through art-world scandals, the landed gentry of Yorkshire, and one family’s Nazi past.


Fiona Bruce and art expert Philip Mould try to uncover the truth behind three mysterious portraits. The paintings in question are that of a child, thought to have been painted by modern artist Willem de Kooning, the image of a lady, considered the work of 18th-century society painter Philip Mercier, and a portrait of an old general, attributed to the 19th-century German master Adolph von Menzel. The investigation forces the duo to embark on a worldwide quest, taking them from Miami, Florida, to Berlin and a small town in Belgium. Last in the series.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Fiona Bruce
Presenter Philip Mould
Contributor Bendor Grosvenor
Executive Producer Simon Shaw
Producer Robert Murphy
Series Producer Robert Murphy
see more
Education Arts