18 votes
Fake or Fortune?

Fake or Fortune?

BBC One 2011

Journalist Fiona Bruce teams up with art expert Philip Mould to investigate mysteries behind paintings. It's a world of subterfuge and intrigue as they grapple with complex battles often unseen beneath the apparently genteel art establishment.

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The 10 Worst Episodes of Fake or Fortune?

#1 - Gauguin


Season 6 - Episode 3

Fiona Bruce and Philip Mould investigate the history of two pictures, both of which are believed to be by Paul Gauguin, one of the giants of 19th-century art.

The episode was rated #1 Worst episode of Fake or Fortune? from 11 votes.

Fake or Fortune? - S4E4

#2 - Munnings and Churchill


Season 4 - Episode 4

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?

The episode was rated #2 Worst episode of Fake or Fortune? from 11 votes.

Fake or Fortune? - S3E2

#3 - Constable


Season 3 - Episode 2

The Fake or Fortune team tries to prove that not one but two paintings are missing works by John Constable.

The episode was rated #3 Worst episode of Fake or Fortune? from 9 votes.

#4 - Freud


Season 5 - Episode 1

Fake or Fortune returns for a fifth series, beginning with one of the most challenging cases the team has ever encountered. Can art detectives Philip Mould and Fiona Bruce prove that a painting of a man in a black cravat is one of the first pictures ever painted by celebrated and controversial British artist Lucian Freud, even though Freud himself denied painting it? London-based designer Jon Turner is eager to prove that a painting he inherited from two friends is in fact an early portrait painted by Freud whilst at art school in 1939. If it's genuine, it could be worth around half a million pounds. But who is the mysterious man in the portrait - and why did Freud deny it was his work? As the team hunt for clues, they are drawn into a world of feuds, rivalries and intrigue. Can those who knew Freud best help unlock the painting's secrets?

The episode was rated #4 Worst episode of Fake or Fortune? from 22 votes.

#5 - Constable


Season 6 - Episode 1

The team try to find out whether a beautiful English landscape is a work of national importance - a lost masterpiece by John Constable and quite possibly an alternative view of his greatest work, The Hay Wain. Now owned by a Gloucestershire businessman, the painting appears to have all the hallmarks of Constable's sketches - his more impressionistic, preparatory works. If genuine, it could be worth at least £2 million.

The episode was rated #5 Worst episode of Fake or Fortune? from 16 votes.

Fake or Fortune? - S3E3
#6 - Chagall
Season 3 - Episode 3

The Fake or Fortune team plunges into the murky world of the Russian art market when they investigate a painting attributed to modern master Marc Chagall. In 1992, a property developer seized the chance to invest £100,000 in a work by one of the 20th century's greatest artists - Marc Chagall. The picture had surfaced in Russia after the fall of communism, and was offered at a fraction of its full value. There was just one catch - it hadn't been fully authenticated by the Chagall Committee in Paris. Twenty years later, the owner wants to find out if he made a shrewd investment - or an expensive mistake. The search for clues leads Fiona to Chagall's hometown of Vitebsk in the former Russian republic of Belarus, where she makes connections between the painting and the artist's life story, but events take a more sinister turn when she discovers a news report about the sale of a fake Chagall in the city of Minsk. With scientific testing raising more questions than answers, Philip travels to Los Angeles to consult a notorious forger called Tony Tetro who specialized in faking the work of Chagall. As the team grapple with the shadowy world of the modern Russian art market, everything hinges on a critical test to determine the date of a suspicious pigment as the investigation threatens to turn into a 'whodunnit'. And when the dust settles, there is one more shocking and unexpected twist that leaves the owner with a difficult decision.

The episode was rated #1 Worst episode of Fake or Fortune? from 15 votes.

#7 - Tom Roberts
Season 6 - Episode 2

The team try to prove that an online purchase is a lost work by Tom Roberts, one of Australia's greatest artists.

The episode was rated #2 Worst episode of Fake or Fortune? from 12 votes.

#8 - Portraits
Season 5 - Episode 4

Every year, the Fake or Fortune team receive hundreds of requests for help from the owners of mysterious portraits. Everyone wants to know two things - who is it, and who painted it? The team choose three of the most promising portraits to investigate further - a child, believed to be by prized modern artist Willem de Kooning, a young lady, attributed to 18th-century society painter Philip Mercier, and a formidable-looking man, said to be by 19th-century German master Adolph von Menzel. Philip Mould takes on the de Kooning case, meeting Belgian owners Jan and Chris Starckx. Could a speculative online purchase for 450 euros be a lost work painted by de Kooning in Brussels at the very start of his career? The quest to prove it leads to Miami, Florida, where scientific analysis of a similar work has the potential to yield vital evidence. Fiona Bruce wants to know how an 18th-century portrait of a lady ended up in the flat of Richard and Jenny Williams, a retired couple in Eastbourne. Conservation work might help reveal some secrets while research into the life of the artist provides some clues about the identity of the mystery lady. The investigation into the portrait of The Old Gentleman takes an unexpected turn when the team delve into the story of owner Lance Miller's grandfather, a German industrialist who bought the painting in 1947. With Menzel's work frequently targeted by forgers, has Lance inherited a rare treasure - or something more sinister? Three pictures, three important artists - but as scientific testing and investigative research unlock long-held secrets, will every story have a happy ending?

The episode was rated #3 Worst episode of Fake or Fortune? from 15 votes.

Fake or Fortune? - S1E1
#9 - Monet
Season 1 - Episode 1

In the opening episode, Fiona and Philip discover what they believe is an unrecognised and valuable painting by Monet. But can they convince the powers that be?

The episode was rated #4 Worst episode of Fake or Fortune? from 8 votes.

Fake or Fortune? - S2E3
#10 - Van Dyck: What Lies Beneath
Season 2 - Episode 3

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 our most important 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?

The episode was rated #5 Worst episode of Fake or Fortune? from 8 votes.

Last updated: oct 09, 2020



how do I start watching this episolde of Fake or Fortune, about Giacometti? I don't see a start to play button.

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