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Fake or Fortune?
E1 of 3
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Series 2 - Episode 1
Degas and the Little Dancer
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Fiona Bruce is back to champion more fine old paintings with question marks hanging over them. It’s a great idea for a series, and in full swing it’s as ingenious and intriguing as the art world (and underworld) it explores.
Our “sleeper” picture this week is — or purports to be — a Degas. It’s a tiny, charming oil painting of a ballet dancer, but it is not included in the relevant bible of Degas’ works. A nice old gent whose father bought it in 1945 would love to know if it’s worth a few hundred pounds or, if it’s the real deal, half a million. Rakish art dealer Philip Mould and his gloriously named researcher Dr Bendor Grosvenor assist Bruce in tracing the truth.
Fiona Bruce and expert Philip Mould investigate more works of art with mysterious origins. They begin by examining a painting that owner Patrick Rice believes is by Edgar Degas. If correct, it could be worth about £500,000. However, although Patrick's father bought it from a reputable dealer in 1945, the piece failed to make the official catalogue of the artist's work - meaning it is not classed as genuine by auction houses and is currently valued at only £200. Fiona and Philip trace the artwork back through time to find out whether it really was created by one of France's greatest artists.
Full Episode Guide
Fake or Fortune? answers a £500,000 question: is this a genuine Lucian Freud?
The artist said no, but in the weird world of one of Britain's most difficult painters, that doesn't settle it...
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