Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Van Meegeren

Episode 3 of 4

Fiona Bruce and Philip Mould enter an art institute in London to try and answer a riddle behind a controversial painting that divides the opinion of scholars.

The art world can prove a bear pit, with a myriad of tricksters at work. Experts estimate that anything between 20%-40% of works of art on the market are faked. And they can turn up in the most unexpected places.

Hanging in one of the most prestigious and respected art institutes in London is a picture Philip has heard of, which may hold the key to unlocking the story of the most audacious forger of all time. A man who dared to fake the work of Old Masters and made millions from his deception, until he was caught in 1945: Han Van Meegeren.

But a mystery remains to this day, as Van Meegeren died before a complete record of his fakes was made. How did he pull off faking Old Master paintings, duping important art galleries in to making purchases of works apparently by Vermeer, even foxing Goering in to buying one of his works during the war?

Philip and Fiona get to work on the London picture which, legend has it, hung in Van Meegeren's studio on the day he was arrested. Was it his last work? And by testing it, can we prove how he out-foxed some of the most eminent minds in the art world?

1 hour

Last on

Mon 7 Jan 2019 20:00


Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:07

    Jerry Goldsmith

    Theme from Basic Instinct

  • 00:48

    Yann Tiersen

    Comptine D'un Autre Ete

The Procuress

The Procuress
Unknown artist


Role Contributor
Presenter Philip Mould
Presenter Fiona Bruce
Producer Nicky Illis
Director Nicky Illis
Series Producer Simon Shaw
Director Nicola Lafferty


  • Sun 3 Jul 2011 19:00
  • Fri 8 Jul 2011 00:35
  • Wed 17 Aug 2011 23:20
  • Wed 17 Aug 2011 23:50
  • Mon 7 Jan 2019 20:00

Meet the Fake or Fortune? team

Meet the Fake or Fortune? team

Discover more about our art sleuths.

About the artists

About the artists

Discover more about the creators behind the works featured in the series.

Science in the series

Science in the series

Read more about the techniques used in the series

Have you found a sleeper?

Have you found a sleeper?

Read our top tips on finding a sleeper and get in touch.