It was first dismissed as a copy but after the BBC show, “Antiques Roadshow” it has been identified as genuine. This is referring to the painting that has since then been declared as an authentic work by great artist, van Dyck.
The portrait has been hanging in Canon Jamie MacLeod’s wall for over a decade when the priest bought the artwork for only £400 ($745). Little did MacLeod know that it will cost him thousand times more when an expert tested its authenticity.
MacLeod had earlier planned on selling the painting he bought from a Cheshire antiques shop in order to buy a new bell for the church. Before going through with his plans, BBC’s television program, “Antiques Roadshow,” and its host, Fiona Bruce was able to convince him to have the painting tested by an expert.
Bruce based it all on a hunch which turned out to be a good one when expert Philip Mould declared the work as authentic when he looked at it. Mould adhered to Bruce’s request that the painting be cleaned. And after removing the top coat of the 18th century painting, another expert on van Dyck’s paintings came in to play to help examine and verify the piece of art work.
''It's been an emotional experience and it's such great news,” quoted MacLeod in a report by the Sydney Morning Herald.
''It's everyone's dream to spot a hidden masterpiece. I'm thrilled that my hunch paid off,” added the news Web site, citing a statement by Bruce, the host of “Antiques Roadshow.”
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, van Dyck is a Flemish artist who worked as a court painter in England during Charles I’s regime. Most of his works were displayed in the Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle. Van Dyck’s art works have also been kept by museums and galleries around the world.
The painting purchased by MacLeod 12 years ago, is said to be the portrait of the magistrate of Brussels. Records show that the painting was created as part of van Dyck’s exhibit showcasing the seven magistrates in 1634. It is believed that the last of the seven paintings survived the attacks in Brussels in 1695 and now cost thousand times more than the amount MacLeod paid for it in 2001.
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