Antiques Roadshow has done it again! The British TV program has uncovered an exceptional art find: an original portrait by Anthony van Dyck. A priest named Father Jamie McLeod bought the painting, which boasts an in-frame label reading “Sir A. VAN DYCK,” in an antiques shop for £400 (~$660). When he brought it on the appraisal show, host Fiona Bruce said certain features made her wonder if it was really by the 17th-century Flemish painter. Bruce called in art expert Philip Mould, who quite dramatically (and hilariously) asks McLeod in the video above:
But, if this is to be by van Dyck, there’s only one way of finding out. The question is: are you prepared to commission a process of cleaning and restoration by which paint is radically removed, but later paint, to reveal what I hope could be an original work beneath?
McLeod assented, and after several months, Mould and a van Dyck expert named Dr. Christopher Brown determined that the painting is in fact by the Baroque artist. It’s believed to be a preparatory study of the Magistrate of Brussels, for a 1634 work depicting seven magistrates that was later destroyed.
The painting’s new value? £400,000 (~$660,000), which McLeod plans to spend on a set of church bells. It’s not quite as much as the $800,000–$1 million early Diego Rivera painting found on the American version of Antiques Roadshow earlier this year, but it is “the most valuable painting” ever discovered on the British program, which has been on the air since 1979.
Subscribe to the Hyperallergic newsletter!