Fake or Fortune? Series 5: Rodin
An enchanting sketch of a dancer believed to have been drawn by Auguste Rodin is at the centre of an investigation that draws the team into a recent forgery scandal that has rocked the French art establishment.
Alice Thoday, a Lincolnshire resident with Belgian roots, inherited the rare watercolour from her mother and has always believed it to be part of a series of works Rodin drew of a Cambodian dance troupe which visited France in 1906. It could be worth over 100,000 if genuine – but the trouble is, Rodin is one of the world’s most faked artists.
The quest to prove it is the genuine article takes the team to Paris and the Musee Rodin, where they search for stylistic similarities in genuine works. The provenance trail leads to Mexico City in the 1940s, where Alice’s mother was given the painting by a businessman called Jimmy Heineman. Who was he and how did he get his hands on a rare Rodin sketch?
The deeper the team digs, the more worrying the evidence is about the extent to which Rodin’s work has been faked by notorious forgers such as Ernst Durig, a Swiss-born sculptor who claimed to be Rodin’s last pupil.
The team turns to scientific analysis and a handwriting expert in a bid to get to the truth. Will the world’s foremost expert believe the picture is a missing sketch by Rodin himself, or a very clever fake?
720p BBC BBC | Fake or Fortune? Series 5 Comedy Crime Economics History Music, Art and Artists Mystery Philosophy