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Fake or Fortune BBC4 – (Mondays 8 pm)

For all its irritations I was pleased to watch another series of Fake or Fortune.  

Philip Mould, the cool art dealer, has been upgraded to joint presenter alongside Fiona Bruce and the courteous Dr Bendor Grosvenor is back as art expert and historian.

This week they considered the authenticity of three Turners, sea scapes of Margate coast.

The pictures were owned by two Welsh spinsters whose family had made their money in mining.

They had left their considerable collection to the National Gallery of Wales but the three Turners were rejected as fakes.

The principal reason for this was that the provenance descended from Mrs Booth, a Margate boarding house keeper, with whom Turner had a secret affaire for 32 years.

Turner became a Royal Academician aged 14 and more or less founded the National Gallery where he ensured his works took pride of place.

His trademark colour was yellow, so much so that at the Academy lunches he was ribbed “pass the mustard”.

The programme was interesting on paint and on the verification that the yellow paint used in the paintings was around in Turner’s time.

Normally the owner is present at the big reveal at the end of the programme.

Fiona Bruce either gives the owner a hug if authenticated or commiserates if not.

Like the Antiques Road Show, which she also presents, I suspect the finale is what attracts the viewer.

Here it was left to a descendant of the sisters to receive the good news that the foremost expert on Turner (Martin Buchan) had reviewed the decision and decided they were original.

Another TV art programme I would mention is Andrew Marr’s Great Paintings Of The World on Channel 5 on Friday. He is a great enthusiast.

Last week the water lilies of Monet were his subject.

They were painted when Monet had cataracts and lost tragically his wife and son.

I did not care for the experts he convened but the analysis and life story of the French Impressionist were admirably recounted.

This Friday the subject will be John Constable’s The Hay Wain.  

About Alice Mansfield

A graduate of the Slade, Alice has painted and written about art all her life. With her children now having now grown up and departed the nest, she recently took up sculpture. More Posts