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.
Will explain back story to fictional kingdom Westeros
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 2 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 3 Woman blinded as a child can see again after hitting her head on a coffee table
- 4 Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
- 5 The bubble bursts for Sodastream
JK Rowling's Harry Potter Halloween stories: Dolores Umbridge was based on real person she 'disliked intensely'
Best horror films of all time
Your Halloween playlist: From 'Thriller' and 'Ghostbusters' to Marilyn Manson and Eminem
Benedict Cumberbatch describes the 'explosive' Sherlock sex scene that will never happen
Downton Abbey season 5 episode 6 - review: Thomas and Lady Edith show sad signs of the times
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything