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Fiona Bruce teams up with art expert Philip Mould to investigate mysteries behind paintings.Can the team prove that a beautiful still life of a glass jug and pears is the work of celebrated British artist William Nicholson? The investigation began when viewer Lyn got in touch to ask for our help - a painting she owns recently suffered a fatal blow when it was rejected by the leading authority on William Nicholson and was left out of the artist's latest catalogue raisonnee - the official list of all his known worksAs the team delve back into the provenance of the painting, they come across an alarming find - could this painting have been involved in one of the great art crimes of the 20th century? Fiona meets reformed art forger John Myatt to find out if he ever faked a Nicholson.
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Text Comments (102)
Carol Weideman (1 day ago)
I once saw an interview with Vincent Price, yes an actor but also a very respected in the art world. He said that a painting should be bought and enjoyed because the person loves the painting, not the value. The interviewer laughed and said even a velvet Elvis painting haha. Mr Price said yes. If you look at a painting and get joy from looking at it why not. This owner should enjoy the painting just because. The lady who said no it is not an original sounds like a total bitch and snob.
steve vermillion (3 days ago)
Absolutely LOVE this series!!!
Smith Js (4 days ago)
what a stupid judgement. reed does not want to admit she was wrong.
Yet another example of the corrupt and dirty art market and so called expert, dumb ass Reed you only succeed in ruing your own reputation with overwhelming evidence in the paintings favor , how stupid you look now.
A McK (6 days ago)
Ya but the previous expert did think it was genuine. In the future some expert will prob come along and call it genuine again
Antonemachine (8 days ago)
firstwavepuresoul (10 days ago)
Had William Nicholson given his 'Freesias' board to one of his students to paint upon such as a renowned person as Churchill etc,. its highly unlikely that the student would go further to use Nicholson's initial 'N" having created a delightful work of art and not use his own name to sign the work. I would be searching for the students or how Mr Price came to purchase the painting
Margaret G (13 days ago)
Ms Reeds thinking that anybody could have painted on one of Nicholsons boards then almost all of his works are suspect and she has already accepted one that is 100% forged. This one person judge and jury in the art work is bs. There needs to be a panel of experts to avoid egotism to affect peoples lives.
Margaret G (13 days ago)
She should sue the authenticator, Ms Reed. It seems like a personal slight against her or her aunt. Ms Reed needs to watch this show and eat her words.
chris lane (18 days ago)
I think the negative decision was ego driven.
riffraff riff (20 days ago)
The jar is so ugly, clumsy painted, even the perspective is off. Why would you buy it? A students work sounds plausible.
alison ross (21 days ago)
Patricia Reed needs to sort out her ego !
Nik W (21 days ago)
The “non Nicholson” painting is far superior to the Ottawa version.
No Neck (28 days ago)
Patricia Reed talks of provenance....yet do a google search on her......very little out there... This is a good read...https://makingamark.blogspot.com/2018/08/glass-jug-lilian-browse-vs-patricia-reed.html
Anne O'Brien (28 days ago)
If Nicholson put his thumb print to his paintings, then surely there would be skin cells left behind by the artist. So maybe a forensic scientist should be employed to have a look at the 'thumb print' and see if they can find the DNA Evidence to prove its authenticity. That would put Ms Reed firmly in her place as a not so hot expert of Nicholson's works.
nmg70nmg (29 days ago)
My gut said to me that that the second painting in the museum is by Winston Churchill and not Nicholson.
cazfarri (30 days ago)
I hate to say this, but after seeing this episode, and some where the "Wildenstein Institute" is involved show that the art world can be as petty as a bunch of high-school children.
Jared L (1 month ago)
If either of the glass jug paintings is fake, it is the one the "expert" Mrs. Reed deemed a Nicholson, the Ottawa painting, the crappy one that just looks like crap because it is the most "abstract" of his known paintings, and not because one of his students did it? "Expert," ya!
Victoria Corcoran (1 month ago)
I don't think this is the last we will hear about this painting somehow !
Gary Allen (24 days ago)
Victoria Corcoran: I hope it's the last we hear of Patricia Reed. The old bat has got to die sometime, and then someone else, hopefully someone more rational, will be the new expert.
Jillian Crider (1 month ago)
Proof that the so-called 'expert' is wrong, lies in the reason she gives as doubting it was by Nicholason. She said that it could have been painted by a student, and that well-enough could be the case - with Nicholason giving the board to a student to paint on. She agrees that it was most probably done in his studio. BUT - why would Nicholason (with 100% handwriting expert assessing the writing as his!), write 'Glass JUG' on the back? Just dumb to not realise that. It could be argued that the under-painting might be a freesias in one, but FAR more likely to to be an ordinary vase, and not a jug!!!!!!!! And I very much doubt that any student would not have the ability, or even the thought of TRYING to forge Nicholason's writing of the title. The work underneath could also be 'the' missing painting (freesias) and in the letter sent mentioning a freesia painting it might be this one, or another, too, possibly. OR he took it with him as stated in the letter, saying he was at the end of finishing it - but what if he didn't, or the person he took it to didn't like it, and so, painted over it. That there is no title referring to the freesias, to me, makes for the chances of it being a 'nearly-finished' but never completed work! Hence giving a great reason for him to paint over it!
sarah Afzal (1 month ago)
Also, if it was done under Nicholson's supervision and by his student, why would he sign it with an 'N' and then write its name on the back aswell. Doesnt make sense
SkinnyCow (1 month ago)
LOL a story book writer decides a work's price? more like won't admit her mistake to try and cover her now tattered reputation
Sarah Long (1 month ago)
To reject this painting based on overwhelming evidence to the contrary is inexplicable. Reed is clearly trying to salvage her reputation here but in so doing has ultimately destroyed it.
Anne Aprim (1 month ago)
Then the painting in Ottawa is not right either?
Gary Mortensen (1 month ago)
Those who can do, and those who can't call themselves art experts. I think it boils down to not being willing to admit a mistake. Reed's explanation as to why she believes the painting isn't genuine reads like the outline for a story assignment for a university creative writing course. The fact she declined to appear on camera tells me she doesn't believe her own argument.
Kingsley Saxon (1 month ago)
Try again after the Reed cow dies!
Margaret G (13 days ago)
She is very young. Lillian is not!
Zed's Dead (1 month ago)
I wonder how much it is worth if churchill painted it
Doc2kiwi Dig (1 month ago)
One person can do this?!! What a rotten old tart that Reed woman is, something else is going on here.
Robert Gaylord (1 month ago)
There is only one expert on William Nicholson?? How absurd. Ms. Reed ought to be ashamed of her arrogance.
very disappointing
Gregory Alan (1 month ago)
In this particular case I don't think that if they had the hand written bill of sale from the artist, a signed statement of authenticity from Nicholson, photographic evidence and Nicholson's actual DNA in the picture that Reed and co. would accept this painting. I think this is more about sour grapes and axe grinding than anything else. The unfortunate thing is that the niece is caught in the middle and paying one heck of a price, 165,000 pounds for professional animosity.
Carol Weideman (1 day ago)
Well, said.
Sound Check (1 month ago)
The "expert" must be a pretentious bigot who obviously doesn't have the guts to acknowledge her mistake . In addition to all the overwhelming evidence Fiona and Bruce were able to put together, Lyn's picture is also artistically so much superior than the Ottawa Nicholson. In fact, I think the Ottawa Nicholson may have actually been a sketch for the picture in question.
Carol Weideman (1 day ago)
It does not matter as that painting is seen as authentic. Personally, I like the Ottawa picture better. Again that is subject to taste. As for this so-called expert, I hope her reputation is ruin.
James anonymous (1 month ago)
they have detailed the evidence in favor of authentication, what evidence does Reed have to contradict that ? "NONE" just an "I Don't Think So"
DavidMillsSeven (1 month ago)
Ms Reed is done for and all so called experts who deny scientific evidence. The latter replacing them all in the near future. Let's be honest here, it's a power and money game from her side, cowardly writing that refusal letter. It's definitely a Nicholason and like Fiona said, a clear case.
vincent hewlett (1 month ago)
Reed...who is she........she is wrong and thats it.....stuck up her own arse
Don Overstreet (1 month ago)
Reed has been schooled and she resents it. God or Nicholason himself couldn't convince her to publicly admit she was once wrong about this painting.
sedayehneda (2 months ago)
Shame on Ms. Reed...
cyberlucy (2 months ago)
I'm sorry but the one in Canada is not nearly as good as the one she owns.
Carol Weideman (1 day ago)
+Gregory Alan, I like the Painting in Canada better but that is my taste. What this program proved was petty jealousy on the part of a woman who refuses to admit she is wrong. I disagree the value of art should be based on composition and execution. That is very subject and personal thing.
Gregory Alan (1 month ago)
Which is the rub when it concerns art. 2 pictures with about a 99.9% chance of being by the same artist one worth pennies while the other is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars only because one is attributed and one is not. No way that should happen. The value of the art should be in the value of its composition, execution and theme not because Famous X painted it. This has always bothered me. Even great artists have bad days and failures. The art world doesn't seem to admit this.
john bozo (2 months ago)
So Nicholson let someone use his paint box and an artist board with his handwriting all over it to paint a fake picture and sign his name to it. Makes Nicholson sound like a fool. I am sure he wasn't.
Morten Hansen (2 months ago)
If Nicholson did do the signature with the paint splattered thumb. It could be interesting to know if there would be fingerprints. If he used this as a common technique, maybe there might be fingerprints on other of his paintings somewhere else to compare to!?
Gary Allen (24 days ago)
Morten Hansen : There likely would be prints in the dried paint on his palette, quite possibly on the tubes of paint (although they have been handled by others), and maybe even in the paint blobs on his smock.
carole lerman (2 months ago)
Art experts are like Archaeologists they can never admit they are wrong which doesn't make them experts at all.
Gary Stiltner (2 months ago)
What about the finger print on both paintings?
Paula Mourad (2 months ago)
I LOVE Fiona's voice :)
Gary Allen (24 days ago)
Paula Mourad : Agreed. Being a BBC presenter is good training. I've read there are episodes where she speaks excellent French and Italian as well.
April Marie (2 months ago)
It would seem that Nicholson was experimenting with abstraction and painted both of these painting around the same time using the same still life set up. Lyn's painting is obviously by his hand. It takes a big person to admit they have made a mistake. Such a shame that miss Read was unable to simply say that the new compelling evidence brought before her has changed her view.
Shawn Charton (4 days ago)
This was exactly my thought. If he was experimenting with abstraction it makes sense that he's repaint a still life to see how he perceived the differences between abstraction and not.
Bright Newlook (2 months ago)
So let's get this straight. The forger guy admitted to forging 1 Nicholson still life (hasn't been caught yet), so we know Patricia Reed already approved of an ACTUAL FAKE at one point. And yet, despite all the evidence for Glass Jug, she still is unconvinced DESPITE the 100% handwriting match and idiosyncratic "thumbprint" signature? I don't think 1 person should have the sole authority of what gets accepted or not. It should be a committee of experts.
Luke Bell (2 months ago)
Reed is an idiot.
Nealio (2 months ago)
I like the Lillian Browse still life more, because it is more life like, especially the pears, and plates. An open and shut case, Williams art case. Churchill didn't take up painting until after the war, and whoever had access to his art would never over paint his original work and then ask him to name and sigh it . Ridiculous assumptions altogether. Maybe some professional rivalry even jealousy between the 2 female experts, Lillian Browse and Patricia Reed as to who is the best and sells the most books.
Tom Tom (2 months ago)
I don't know. I didn't like the painting. There is no chain of custody back to the artist.
JayveeSonata (2 months ago)
There is overwhelming evidence that this is a genuine Nicholason painting. Why is a bitter and biased "expert" such as Ms. Reed allowed to play God? She didn't even have the guts to show up in person to deliver her verdict.
trinibagogirl (1 month ago)
It will hurt her reputation to recant. I think it's why despite the insurmountable evidence she still rejected it :/ prob the next step would be to follow up the train time table leads....
cyberlucy (2 months ago)
+carole lerman Yes and not admitting it.
carole lerman (2 months ago)
Too busy making mistakes.
Potwheelz (2 months ago)
That forger won't tell because it's probably very bad for his well being and future existence.
howdy268 (2 months ago)
Such blatant arrogance by Patricia Reed by supposedly expert person refusing too admit that she got it wrong ... Ridiculous
morey hubert (2 months ago)
reed needs to pack it in.
american pro (2 months ago)
fake or fortune: perhaps the produced series ever presented on the inet ...
J Watson (3 months ago)
I believe it's a Nicholson, the evidence is there but it seems like the "expert" has dug her heels in. time will tell. nice painting though.
Dion Govender (3 months ago)
Can't aunt Lillian's gallery publish an updated version of her own catalogue? Why must this Ms Reed be the only authority on the subject?
Sarah Long (1 month ago)
This is why we have juries, so no one person can act as judge and executioner like Reed has done.
Zed's Dead (1 month ago)
well clearly she had a vested interest in publishing it. The painting needs to be peer reviewed by an unbiassed expert
TD McCoy (2 months ago)
I wonder this too
HAGGIS .MCHAGGIS (3 months ago)
Surely that's his fingerprint on it? The 'Expert' in question obviously has a bruised ego that she has been challenged... pathetic.
Devin Devon (3 months ago)
This was an open and shut case, that painting is a 100% genuine Nicholason, the evidence for it is overwhelming. It's also a fantastic painting, To hell with Ms. Reed.
aSDo Art (1 day ago)
HrH KarenS - Agree. The painting in question is a much better painting than the verified real one. Maybe they should investigate that one? Why is that one so abstract, yet all his other work much more realistic? Why are the colors so muted, yet his other works are fairly vibrant? A google image search of "William Nicholson still life" shows a distinct difference in the Ottawa painting and all his others. Looks to me like the Ottawa painting could be from a student and the painting in question as the real one from Nicholson.
HrH KarenS (11 days ago)
I think it is a much more beautiful painting than the ''real'' Nicholson. I would prefer to have this one on my wall than the other !
D. Angelo Ferri (3 months ago)
I know very little about this but it seems to me the only thing Reed is concerned about is covering her own ass.
Kathleen Hershner (6 days ago)
That's was just what I was thinking. Reed has a lot to lose. Fiona and Philip's research is compelling, and far more proof than Reed 'just not liking the look of it'. Rubbish. Also, I'm wondering if Reed is sticking to her original verdict because the current owner is wealthy enough and that she can afford to lose her investment.
Patricia Vogt (1 month ago)
I think M Reed is wrong.
Leslie Whittaker (2 months ago)
And her ego is so big she can’t admit when she is wrong.
truthseeker444 (2 months ago)
Exactly, rather than admit she was wrong, she dug an even deeper hole for herself, like is it her belief, that a student of the artist, faked his signature thumb print and initial? I think that the thumb print on both paintings should be analysed by forensic detectives, and when it is shown to be the same print, then Reed can go crawl into a hole, she has already been exposed as no kind of an expert in anything. I wonder what the artists grandson thinks now that he has seen all the evidence.
mallory besom (3 months ago)
'an intricate argument can be rebuffed' -- that's the gist of it. Because Nich'son himself cannot be traced to it, it can't be sanctioned. Score one for the shrill voice of expertise. (My statements are made with the same irony as Mould's.)
mallory besom (2 months ago)
As I said, irony.
Christina Moore (2 months ago)
Reed is protecting her own ego.
Tom L (3 months ago)
The expert was upset that she had the "ugly" painting of the two and really did not want anymore side by side comparisons. So the better painting of the two was nullified as not genuine. I would have another expert look at it.
circlek (3 months ago)
That's not a Winston Churchill....Stupid people...if anything it's probably the wrong picture they catalogued, and now they can't admit it.
FrenchArtAntiques Paris (3 months ago)
I had a hard time following this episode.... It was a bit confusing.
hongsien kwee (3 months ago)
What an explnation by Patricia Reed, as if other students could have painted it on Nicholson's board, and let him sign it???
hongsien kwee (3 months ago)
one is before he ate the pears (Lyn), the other one is after finishing eating the pears (Ottawa)
teppolundgren (3 months ago)
It's obviously a concern if clear providence cannot be established and linked back to the original painter, but in which other field of forensic science, is a verdict decided by just ONE person? Expert or not, it's positively un-scientific to rely on the opinion of one person, regardless of how familiar they may be with a particular subject. And not only that, but it also allows for petty jealousy and personal revenge to occur, especially if said expert has some sort of grudge against the current owner of a work, or even a relative of that owner. Personal opinion can only go so far, and unfortunately, politics and snobbish ego are also all too often mixed up with these things. So in order to get a fair verdict, it really is vital to at least get a second opinion before a work of art is completely written off as a fraud or a cheap copy, etc.
carole lerman (2 months ago)
X (3 months ago)
flamevlam1 (4 months ago)
No there is another reason why she dismisses this wonderful painting by Nicholson and only Patricia Reed knows the answer.
Gary Allen (24 days ago)
flamevlam1 : You think perhaps someone refused her advances?
Mike D (4 months ago)
Wow. Why would Nicholson title someone else's work though? Sounds like Ms. Reed is too embarrassed to correct her mistake and is willing to rob that woman and art world to maintain her pride.
UltimateBreloom (25 days ago)
+Philippe Nachtergal But the thumb print was done when the white was still wet.
Philippe Nachtergal (27 days ago)
Text is little enough that someone can have duplicated the handwriting. It wouldn't be the first time that a painting done by a friend or student of a master painter later got "signed" by a forger. If you think about it, a forger without real painting talent would precisely be on the hunt for such paintings to apply a signature and forge provenance. What would have been interesting is if they could have pushed the investigation to see if it could have been done by one of those students.
cyberlucy (2 months ago)
jinjah lilly (4 months ago)
Quantum Kitty (4 months ago)
The expert seemed to have it in for Patricia and her aunt.
John C (3 months ago)
Patricia Reed is the expert. (Lyn owns the painting) ....But I know what you mean.
dorotheainmiddle (5 months ago)
Did Patricia Reed know Aunt Lillian and dislike her?
Carol Weideman (1 day ago)
I think there is jealousy involved in the verdict.
b021c (5 months ago)
thanks for posting +vanitytrash
vanessadingle (5 months ago)
b021c your welcome 🙏

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