Fiona Bruce's Antiques Roadshow ‘hunch’ leads to discovery of lost £400,000 Van Dyck masterpiece
The presenter said she recognised details of the supposed ‘fake’, bought for just £400 from her work on a programme about the 17th century master
A “hidden masterpiece” by Anthony van Dyck has been discovered on the Antiques Roadshow after presenter Fiona Bruce said she had a hunch it might be genuine.
The “fake” Van Dyck was bought for £400 by a priest in Nottingham, but experts say the restored 17th century portrait could be worth around £400,000.
It was brought along to a recording of the programme in Newstead Abbey near Nottingham last year. Father Jamie MacLeod said he wanted to sell it and put the proceeds towards buying a new set of church bells.
The piece was spotted by the show’s host, Bruce, who said she had just finished making a show with art expert Philip Mould where she “spent weeks looking at nothing but Van Dyck paintings”.
After Mr Mould agreed it was worth taking a look at, and following months of restoration work to remove more recently-added layers of paint, it was verified as genuine by Van Dyck expert Dr Christopher Brown.
It is now the most valuable painting ever discovered on the Antiques Roadshow, which has been running for 36 years.
Fiona Bruce said: “It's everyone's dream to spot a hidden masterpiece, I'm thrilled that my hunch paid off, to discover a genuine Van Dyck is incredibly exciting. I'm so pleased for Father Jamie.”
Father Jamie, who runs a retreat house in the Peak District, said, “It's been an emotional experience and it's such great news. It's wonderful that new church bells hopefully will be pealing out to commemorate the centenary of the First World War in 2018.”
“Discoveries of this type are exceptionally rare”, said Mr Mould. “The painting's emergence from beneath layers of paint was dramatic. It's been revealed as a thrilling example of Van Dyck's skills of direct observation that made him so great a portrait painter.”
Father Jamie, Fiona Bruce and expert Philip Mould with the restored van Dyck masterpiece (Jeff Overs/BBC/PA) Van Dyck was the leading artist in the court of King Charles I, and a self-portrait recently sold to a private buyer for £12.5 million – sparking a campaign to save the painting for the nation.
The work discovered on the show is a portrait of a Magistrate of Brussels which is believed to have been painted as part of the artist's preparation for a 1634 work showing seven magistrates which was eventually destroyed in a French attack on Brussels in 1695.
The discovery will be shown on tonight's episode of Antiques Roadshow at 7pm on BBC One.
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Michelle Watt's father says TV presenter killed herself because she was in constant pain
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 San Francisco TV news crew attacked by armed robbers during live broadcast
- 4 Greek debt crisis: The photograph that conveys the despair of Greece's elderly
- 5 Miami defendant sobs in court as he realises he and the judge attended the same school
Bad luck, One Direction: Paul McCartney doubts success of The Beatles will ever be matched again
This is surely the best way to watch Jaws
The Crystal Maze: Richard O’Brien confirmed to return as more details revealed about show's rebooted format
Guillaume Tell's gang-rape scene caused uproar at the Royal Opera House – but the portrayal of extreme sex and violence on stage is nothing new
Britain's best outdoor cinemas to visit this summer from Somerset House to Luna Cinema
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture