Mop-top portrait is lost work by pioneer Mary Beale By Natalie Clarke | The Times

February 1, 2021

Catalogued as '18th century Italian School' and estimated at £400-600, this oil painting had been in the same family since the early 1950s, although its significance was seemingly unknown…

"Described as 18th-century Italian School, it had an estimate of £400 to £600. Its garish Florentine frame did not, however, fool Philip Mould, the art expert who presents the BBC's Fake or Fortune programme with Fiona Bruce, seeking "lost" masterpieces."

"The moment he saw it, he was sure he had tumbled upon a classic "sleeper" - a painting that is misattributed and priced far below its real value. He felt sure it was a lost work by Mary Beale. Mould is an aficionado of the 17th-century Suffolk artist..."

"Mould has sold many of her paintings. The picture, he felt certain, was of Beale's son, Bartholomew. The problem was that Mould was not the only art buff who had 'discovered' it…"

"In the old days, before the internet, there might be one or two people who might have twigged it," Mould said, "Now there is an infinite amount of information online and there are so many more who spot these things."

"Mould's efforts to promote Mary Beale have contributed to her dazzling revival but he is gracious in defeat. "When you see a work like that, you're to attached, it's like seeing the face of a friend."

Read the full article here.

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