New series. Journalist Fiona Bruce teams up with art expert Philip Mould to investigate mysteries behind paintings.
Inheriting a work of art by one of the great Impressionist masters should be a joy, but for Patrick Rice it was a mixed blessing. His small oil painting depicting a ballet dancer on stage has always been thought to be a work by Edgar Hilaire Degas. Unfortunately, since the 1970s, experts have not agreed. The painting, which could be worth around half-a-million pounds if it is a Degas, is currently worth £200. In a last ditch attempt to discover the truth, Patrick and his son Jonathan ask Fiona Bruce and Philip Mould to handle the case. Although bought as a Degas from a reputable London dealer in 1945 by Patrick's father, the painting, titled Danseuse Bleue et Contrebasses, failed to make the official record of Degas, the catalogue raisonne. As far as auction houses and experts are concerned, if it's not in the catalogue then it's not by Degas, and cannot be sold as such.