The Art of the Nation Episode 1 of 3

BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz investigates the art-works in our homes, and considers the stories they tell about our national identity.

Most of the nation's greatest works of art are in our museums and galleries, but there are also thousands of significant works - some valuable, some not - in homes across the country.

Will Gompertz discovers extraordinary stories behind the art-works on our domestic walls, and the tales they tell about our nation - an unwritten biography charting up and downs, highs and lows.

In the first programme of the series, he reveals the importance of discovery, hearing about the joy of uncovering apparently lost masterpieces, and acquiring works by chance.

Will meets an unemployed couple from Lincoln who believe they have tracked down - via the internet - works by Van Gogh, Manet and Cézanne. Will also finds out about the businessman who happened to become a good friend of Picasso, who gave him one of his prized plates. The plate sat in a drawer for 40 years, because its new owner thought it looked horrible. Now his son has re-discovered it. And there's the tale of home owner who happened to find a work by Francis Bacon on a wall - long hidden behind fitted furniture.

Producer Neil George.

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30 minutes

Last on

Wed 12 Nov 2014 23:30

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Discover the artwork you own in our public galleries. Image: Southampton City Art Gallery