To check the authenticity of a work of art, you might expect an expert to reach for a magnifying glass.
But one art specialist has valued a Modigliani at £100,000 – after leaning in and smelling it.
In last night’s episode of BBC One’s Fake or Fortune presenter Fiona Bruce investigated if a sketch, pictured, thought to be dated around 1915-1919, was by the Italian artist Modigliani.
But it was a ‘smell test’ by Dr Kenneth Wayne that determined its value, after he confirmed it smelt of the ‘time it was created’.
In last night’s episode of BBC One’s Fake or Fortune presenter Fiona Bruce investigated if a sketch, pictured, thought to be dated around 1915-1919, was by the Italian artist Modigliani
The president of The Modigliani Project, who is currently overseeing a new Catalogue Raisonne of Modigliani’s works, described the sketch as feeling and smelling of the time it was created – convincing a group of experts that it was genuine.
The discovery was particularly special for owner Henrietta Sitwell who was emotional when she revealed that her late grandfather had met the Italian artist in Paris in the 1920s.
Talking about the valuation she said: ‘Whilst it’s obviously a brilliant result, it’s the renewed connection to my late grandfather, through this beautiful and delicate drawing, that I’m particularly touched by and grateful for.’
Art expert Mr Mould added that there was also a possibility that the subject in the drawing is the same as Modigliani’s famous ‘Little girl with plaits’ oil painting from 1918.
It was a ‘smell test’ by Dr Kenneth Wayne that determined its value, after he confirmed it smelt of the ‘time it was created’
‘The name Modigliani is a magic one to collectors across the world and it is wonderful to have helped christen a new and unknown work by him,’ he said.
‘As a Modigliani rediscovery, it is all the more emotive given that it passed through the hands of two people who knew him, and helped establish his legendary legacy.’
The tenth series of the BBC show started last week and documented the discovery of a rare collaboration between English abstract painter Ben Nicholson, and amateur painter Fred Murray.
The unique artwork, valued between £50,000 and £100,000 had been painted directly onto a bedroom wall in a Surrey home and viewers were shown the moment part of the wall was cut away to save the painting.
Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd
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