Fake or Fortune? The Winslow Homer in the trash, the fakes at the Courtauld, and other art detective tales.
Fake or Fortune? unfolds like a detective series, with a painting in the office instead of a corpse in the solarium. Each episode begins with presenters Philip Mould and Fiona Bruce taking on an art mystery: Is this a genuine Turner (or Vuillard, Gainsborough, etc)? The show derives much of its charm from the pairing of Philip, an art dealer and art historian, and Fiona, a broadcast journalist. Philip is the expert, knowledgeable in the ways of the art business. Fiona is the stand-in for the audience, asking the questions we want to ask and articulating our bewilderment. Philip is generally calm and unflappable, while Fiona is emotional and expressive — she wants the paintings to be genuine, and looks crushed when they aren’t. As viewers, we feel we have a stake in the outcome of the investigation.