Lisa Jardine celebrates the influence of art connoisseur Sir Denis Mahon and reflects on the impact of wealthy art collectors on public taste and government policy.
"Art collectors with a fortune to spend inevitably exert an influence on artistic taste and on the art market. The question is: Is a collector who wins public praise for having a "good eye" or "flawless taste" being celebrated for their critical astuteness in identifying a neglected work's lasting aesthetic value and its importance within the artistic tradition? Or are they simply establishing a high competitive price for that artist or artistic school?"
Producer: Sheila Cook.