Fake or Fortune? Toulouse Lautrec
Fiona Bruce and Philip Mould head to France to take on a testing challenge – can they reverse an art world decision which one owner refuses to accept?
Two sketchbooks found in a garden shed in St Emilion were given to a teenage boy, Alain, by his grandmother back in 1965. Although she never revealed where they came from, they were thought to be the work of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, the aristocratic artist born in 1864 known for his atmospheric depictions of Parisian nightlife.
Alain waited 50 years before he decided to present the sketches to the French committee responsible for authenticating the work of Toulouse-Lautrec. Unfortunately, the committee did not accept them as the work of Toulouse-Lautrec and stated they were the work of another artist – Rene Princeteau – meaning they are worth just a few thousand pounds instead of many hundreds of thousands.
For Fiona and Philip, this is on one of their toughest investigations – if they are to prove the sketches are by Toulouse-Lautrec, they must not only discredit them as the work of Rene Princeteau but also persuade a respected committee to change their mind.
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