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Van Dyck: What Lies Beneath

The tables are turned on art detective Philip Mould as one of his own purchases - a painting by Sir Anthony Van Dyck - is put under the microscope.

Art detective Philip Mould has a reputation for finding sleepers - paintings that hide dark secrets. His most remarkable finds are pictures whose true authorship has been confused, masterpieces lost beneath years of dirt and over-painting. Although Philip is used to investigating other people's paintings, this time the tables are turned as Philip's own purchase is put under the microscope.

With his keen-eyed researcher Bendor Grosvenor, Philip has bought a painting that he says could be the find of a lifetime - a work by portrait painter Sir Anthony Van Dyck, one which is worth a small fortune. The only problem is that, in order to prove it, he will have to remove later layers of paint to uncover the truth. "It's a bit like open heart surgery," says Philip, as the expensive and irreversible process begins.

A thorough restoration is needed, and inches of canvas are cut away as an earlier image begins to appear. Fiona is not convinced, and insists that the work undergoes a thorough investigation and is authenticated by an independent Van Dyck expert. Will Philip's reputation and the painting make it to the end of the journey unscathed?

59 minutes

Clip

Music Played

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

  • City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra - Chevaliers de Sangreal

  • London Music Works

    Hello Zep

    • Saw Soundtrack.
  • Ruskin Williamson

    Dust Tail

  • Nigel W Graham & Christian Telford

    Propelling Force

  • Brian Eno

    Drift

  • Brian Eno

    Empty Landscapes

  • Ruskin Williamson

    Blueschist

  • Ruth Barrett

    Electricity

  • Ruth Barrett

    Whispering Fields

  • City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra - Eptesicus

  • Ludovico Einaudi

    Nightbook

  • City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra - Kaleidoscope of Mathematics

  • Brian Eno

    Dawn Marshland

  • London Music Works

    Bumblebee

    • Transformers Soundtrack.
  • Joby Talbot

    Incubator

  • City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra - Basic Instinct

  • Nigel W Graham & Christian Telford

    Lux Aeterna

  • Nigel W Graham & Christian Telford

    Illumination

  • Sigur Rós

    Ekki Mul

    • Instrumental.
  • Brian Eno

    Small Craft on a Milk Sea

  • Sigur Rós

    Daucoalogn

    • Instrumental.
  • City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra - The Labyrinth

  • London Music Works

    160 Bpm

    • Angels & Demons Soundtrack.
  • London Music Works

    In the House, In a Heartbeat

    • 28 Days Later Soundtrack.
  • Sigur Rós

    Rembihnul Tur

    • Instrumental.

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Fiona Bruce
Presenter Fiona Bruce
Presenter Philip Mould
Producer Rachel Jardine
Producer Rachel Jardine
Director Rachel Jardine
Director Rachel Jardine
Series Producer Simon Shaw
Series Producer Simon Shaw

Broadcasts

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