Fake or Fortune?

Watch Fake or Fortune?

  • 2011
  • 4 Seasons
  • 8.6  (672)

Fake or Fortune? is a fascinating investigative show that looks into some of the world's most compelling art mysteries. Starring Fiona Bruce, Philip Mould, and Bendor Grosvenor, the show first aired on BBC One in 2010, and has since become a popular program that delves into the history, significance, and authenticity of various artworks.

Each episode takes viewers on a journey through the world of art, as hosts Bruce, Mould, and Grosvenor work together to uncover the truth about a particular artwork. The show sets out to uncover whether the artwork in question is a genuine masterpiece or a clever fake. The hosts use cutting-edge technology and methods of investigation to examine the origins of the art, the provenance, the subject matter, and the techniques used in creating the piece.

The show is guided by art historian Mould, who has years of experience as one of the UK's leading art dealers. Grosvenor, a passionate art historian and lecturer, adds a younger, fresh perspective to the team. Bruce, best known for her work as a BBC journalist and newsreader, brings professionalism and a wealth of experience to the show. Together, the hosts make the perfect team, providing different perspectives and expertise that make for a compelling viewing experience.

One of the fascinating elements of the show is the in-depth analysis of each artwork. The hosts investigate the piece using the latest technology and research methods to examine everything from the techniques used, to the materials and pigments used. They also consider the artwork's history, its significance, and its links to any notable artists or movements.

The show is also enjoyable because it goes beyond just a detailed analysis of artwork, but also explores the human stories behind each piece. The show dives into the emotions and motivations of the collectors, owners, and dealers who have made the artwork a part of their lives or business. Viewers get to see how the artwork has affected or influenced these individuals, and how they have influenced the artwork itself.

Fake or Fortune? has become such a well-loved show, no doubt, because of how it combines the worlds of art, technology, and human intrigue. The show has had some notable successes over the years. For example, in one episode, the hosts were able to authenticate a painting that had been previously rejected by experts as a fake. However, through their innovative use of technology and research methods, they were able to prove the painting was, in fact, genuine, which made the owner a millionaire overnight.

Another success was when the team was able to uncover a lost masterpiece by Flemish artist Sir Peter Paul Rubens, which had been missing for over 200 years. The piece had been thought to have been destroyed, yet the team managed to trace it back to a private collection through their research.

All of these successes are a testament to the power of the show and the expertise of the hosts. It's also a tribute to the importance of investing in artistic heritage and finding ways to preserve it for future generations.

In conclusion, Fake or Fortune? is an exciting, educational, and thought-provoking show that is a must-watch for all art lovers. The hosts' deep knowledge, investigative spirit, and cutting-edge research methods have contributed to making the show a huge success, and it is sure to continue captivating audiences for years to come.

Fake or Fortune?
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Munnings and Churchill
4. Munnings and Churchill
July 26, 2015
Charles Henty, the man in charge of the Old Bailey, has a problem - the death of his uncle has left him with a working farm to run in France and a crippling inheritance tax bill to pay. He is desperate to protect the jobs of the farmworkers and keep the farm running in his uncle's memory, but the only way he can do that is by selling two paintings he owns - if he can prove they're genuine. One, believed to be by Sir Winston Churchill, was discovered in the coalhole of Charles' family home in London in the 60s. It's a picturesque scene of a medieval village in the south of France. But which village? For the painting to be accepted as genuine, the Fake or Fortune team must first find the exact location and then prove that Churchill painted the scene. There's a lot at stake, with a Churchill painting selling at Sotheby's in 2014 for ?1.8 million, but a leading expert has grave misgivings about the authenticity of the picture. Charles' other painting is a landscape of Dedham in Essex, believed to be by Sir Alfred Munnings, best known for his paintings of horses and once the most expensive British artist of his day. However, Dedham was also the home of Tom Keating, Britain's most notorious forger of the 20th century. Presenter Philip Mould is drawn into the murky world of fakes and forgeries, where nothing is quite as it seems. The Fake or Fortune team pull out all the stops in this dramatic and emotionally charged investigation, but can they prove that both pictures are genuine?
A Mystery Old Master
3. A Mystery Old Master
July 19, 2015
A beautiful church in the heart of the Lancastrian countryside has for over 200 years been home to a possible 16th-century Italian Old Master. But it is also at the centre of an unusual mystery. The congregation have contacted Fake or Fortune? to help solve a riddle which has been puzzling everyone. Who painted this huge picture, and just how did it find its way into a church once patronised by the famous Bronte sisters? Philip is immediately struck by the imposing painting, which depicts one of the most dramatic scenes from the New Testament, the aftermath of the crucifixion of Christ. He has a hunch it might date from the Italian Renaissance, which would make it the oldest picture ever investigated on Fake or Fortune? But to prove his theory will require a series of scientific tests to look beneath the layers of dirt and grime to see if any clues to the artist's identity can be revealed. The trail leads Fiona and Philip on a surprising and colourful journey to Italy, where Philip wants to inspect pictures by the great Old Masters Titian and Tintoretto. Fiona uncovers a secret history of stolen paintings and meets an Italian scholar who may have a significant lead in the case. Back in the UK, Bendor is looking into a local aristocrat who the congregation believe donated the painting and discovers some family secrets which may shed new light on how the painting arrived in the church over two centuries ago. But the British art market will take some convincing that an artist can be officially attributed to the picture, and this will require a hugely ambitious restoration project. By fully cleaning the picture, can Fake or Fortune? prove beyond doubt the identity of the painter?
2. Renoir
July 12, 2015
Nicky Philipps, a portrait artist renowned for her pictures of the royal family, has asked the Fake or Fortune team to investigate a painting which hangs on the walls of Picton Castle, once the Philipps family seat. The work was bought in the 1930s by Nicky's great-grandfather, Sir Laurence Philipps, who believed it to be by celebrated Impressionist Pierre Auguste Renoir. But the painting has been dogged by doubt for half a century, and two art world authorities can't agree whether it's genuine or fake. Nicky's late Aunt Gwen used to tell a tantalising story that the painting came from Claude Monet's house in Giverny and was a gift to the artist from Renoir at a time when they painted together. But a family anecdote isnt enough to convince the art world's toughest judges - the team must find hard evidence. The trail takes Philip to Argenteuil, a suburb of Paris which was once an Impressionist playground. During the 1870s, Renoir and Monet worked here together, often painting the same views side-by-side. But can Philip find any evidence that Nicky's picture was painted here? Fiona picks up the provenance trail at Monet's house in Giverny, where she tries to find proof that the painting once hung in his personal art collection. To find out, she must access some closely guarded archives in Paris. Philip travels to Berlin to see if cutting-edge technology can determine whether the pigments in Nicky's painting match up to those listed by Renoir himself. Can a special camera see through the canvas to reveal clues hidden from view? Along the way, Fiona discovers that the picture is caught between two rival art world authorities - the Bernheim-Jeune Gallery and the Wildenstein Institute, who both believe their word is the last word when it comes to Renoir.
1. Lowry
July 5, 2015
Art detectives Fiona Bruce and Philip Mould return for a brand new series, starting with an investigation into three small pictures by one of Britain's best-loved modern artists - LS Lowry. Stephen Ames, a Cheshire property developer, has a problem - he's inherited three small oil paintings believed to be by Laurence Stephen Lowry, an artist renowned for his scenes of northern life, but he doesn't have any proof. All he knows is that they were bought by his father Gerald, a self-made businessman with a passion for art, in the early 70s. The trouble for Stephen is that LS Lowry is probably the most faked British artist, his deceptively simple style of painting making him a soft target for forgers. As a result, the art market has become very wary of newly discovered Lowry works. If he can't find evidence in favour of the pictures, they are worthless. As they hunt for proof with the assistance of specialist art researcher Dr Bendor Grosvenor, the team encounter unexpected obstacles and extraordinary coincidences, culminating in a groundbreaking scientific discovery that challenges everything we thought we knew about Lowry the artist. But is it enough to prove that the pictures are genuine?
  • Premiere Date
    June 19, 2011
  • IMDB Rating
    8.6  (672)