Video Transcript

Fast clip shows images of an art auction at Christie’s.
The auctioneer says 18 MILLION.
500,000, 19 MILLION.

Fiona Bruce says THE ART WORLD,
WHERE PAINTINGS CHANGE HANDS
FOR FORTUNES.

The auctioneer says SELLING AT
95 MILLION DOLLARS.

Fiona says BUT FOR EVERY KNOWN
MASTERPIECE, THERE MAY BE
ANOTHER STILL WAITING TO BE
DISCOVERED.

Fiona Bruce is in her forties with shoulder length brown hair in a layered cut. She’s wearing a white sweater, a maroon leather jacket and a necklace.

Fiona looks at a painting and says WELL, THAT'S IT!

Keith says WELL, THAT'S IT,
ISN'T IT?

Fiona says THAT IS IT; THAT IS
OUR PAINTING.
INTERNATIONAL ART DEALER PHILIP
MOULD AND I HAVE TEAMED UP TO
HUNT FOR LOST WORKS BY GREAT
ARTISTS.
WE USE OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE
WORK AND STATE-OF-THE-ART
SCIENCE TO GET TO THE TRUTH.

Philip Mould is in his fifties with short receding gray hair. He’s wearing a blue suit and a pale blue shirt.

Philip says SCIENCE CAN
ENABLE US TO SEE BEYOND
THE HUMAN EYE.

Fiona looks at another painting and says ISN'T THAT
INCREDIBLE!
[laughing]

Fiona says THE PROBLEM IS NOT EVERY
PAINTING IS QUITE WHAT IT
SEEMS.

Martin is in his sixties, clean-shaven and balding. He wears glasses, cream trousers and a pale blue shirt.

Martin says I PAID ABOUT
100,000 POUNDS FOR IT.

Philip looks at the picture on the wall and says THAT IS A LOT, IF
IT'S A FAKE.

Fiona says IT'S A JOURNEY THAT
CAN END IN JOY.

Fiona hugs Keith and says OH, ISN'T THAT GREAT?

Keith says IT'S WONDERFUL.

Fiona says OR BITTER
DISAPPOINTMENT.

She reads a letter and says THEY ARE DECLARING THAT YOUR
PAINTING BE SEIZED AND THEN
DESTROYED.
IN OUR FIRST NEW INVESTIGATION,
WE TAKE ON ONE OF THE BIGGEST
NAMES IN 20th CENTURY ART:
LAURENCE STEPHEN LOWRY.
WE'RE ON THE TRAIL OF THREE
SMALL OIL PAINTINGS BY
BRITAIN'S BEST-LOVED MODERN
ARTIST, BOUGHT BY A SELF-MADE
MAN WITH A PASSION FOR ART.
THEY SHOULD BE WORTH A SMALL
FORTUNE, BUT UNCERTAINTY ABOUT
THEIR ORIGIN MEANS THEY COULD
BE WORTH NOTHING AT ALL.

Clips show 3 pictures depicting a couple, several people and a woman with two dogs.

Stephen is in his late forties, clean-shaven and with short straight gray hair. He wears a pale blue shirt, a burgundy sweater and a gray blazer.

Stephen says YEAH, THEY ARE
WORTHLESS.

Fiona says THE TROUBLE IS, L.S.
LOWRY IS ONE OF THE MOST
FREQUENTLY FAKED ARTISTS, HIS
SIMPLE STYLE MAKING HIM A SOFT
TARGET FOR NOTORIOUS FORGERS.

Shaun is in his fifties, clean-shaven and balding. He wears glasses, black trousers and a white shirt.

Shaun replicates one of the paintings and says YOU'VE
JUST GOT TO KIND OF GET THIS ON
AS FAST AS YOU CAN, 'SPECIALLY
IF YOU WANT TO DO A FAKE.

Fiona says CAN WE PROVE THAT
THESE THREE PAINTINGS ARE
GENUINE WORKS?

Fiona and Stephen looks at an image of the paintings on a movie theatre screen.

Stephen says LOOK AT THOSE,
THERE THEY ARE!
LOOK, THAT'S IT, THAT'S THEM!

Fiona says OR COULD THERE BE A
MORE SINISTER EXPLANATION?

Philip says SO, WE'RE DEALING
WITH A ROGUE PIGMENT?

Libby is in his sixties, with short straight gray hair. She wears a denim shirt and a beaded necklace.

Libby says POSSIBLY A
ROGUE PAINTING.

(theme song plays)

The caption "Fake or Fortune?" appears against the grainy orange surface of a painting.

The BBC logo appears overprinted at the bottom of the screen.

(music plays)

Fiona says WE'RE HEADING TO THE
NORTHWEST OF ENGLAND TO FOLLOW
UP A LEAD ON A SMALL COLLECTION
OF ARTWORKS THOUGHT TO BE BY
L.S. LOWRY, THE REGION'S MOST
CELEBRATED ARTIST, BEST KNOWN
FOR HIS SMOKEY, INDUSTRIAL
SCENES OF NORTHERN LIFE.

In a car, Philip says WE'VE COME TO SEE A
MAN WHO HAS JUST INHERITED
THREE WORKS THAT HE BELIEVES
ARE BY L.S. LOWRY.
THE PROBLEM IS, HE CAN'T QUITE
PROVE THAT THEY ARE.

Fiona says AND THE OTHER PROBLEM
IS THAT LOWRY, AS YOU KNOW, IS
ONE OF THE MOST FAKED ARTISTS
AROUND, SO THAT COULD BE
COMPLICATED.
WE'VE ARRANGED TO MEET PROPERTY
DEVELOPER STEPHEN AMES IN
NESTON IN CHESHIRE.

Philip says HI, STEVE.

Stephen says HI, PHILIP,
HOW ARE YOU?

Philip says VERY WELL, VERY NICE
TO MEET YOU.

Stephen says YOU TOO.

Fiona says HE'S BROUGHT US TO
THE HOME OF HIS LATE FATHER,
GERALD, WHO DIED LAST YEAR AGED
87, LEAVING BEHIND SEVERAL
ARTWORKS, INCLUDING A TRIO OF
POSSIBLE LOWRYS.

Inside, Stephen shows them the lowrys.

THIS IS A LOVELY COLLECTION,
ISN'T IT; THESE LOOK GREAT.
I THINK THIS IS PROBABLY MY
FAVOURITE, THIS LADY HERE WITH
THE TWO DOGS, AREN'T THEY.

Philip looks at the scene with the woman and two dogs and says IT'S A WONDERFUL,
QUIRKY IMAGE, DONE IN A
SLIGHTLY ABSTRACT FORM AGAINST
THAT WHITE BACKGROUND -
TYPICAL, IN A SENSE, LOWRY.
AND THEN, THE ONE ABOVE, I'M SO
PLEASED WE'VE GOT A CROWD SCENE
BY HIM BECAUSE HE'S SO FAMOUS
FOR THAT.

Fiona says AND ALL THESE LITTLE
FIGURES ARE ALL SLIGHTLY
SEPARATE, ONE FROM THE OTHER.

Philip says YEAH, RATHER LONELY,
SLIGHTLY DISLOCATED.

Fiona points at the picture of the couple and says AND WHAT ABOUT THIS
RATHER MARVELLOUS PAIR HERE?

Philip says YEAH, HE LOVED
QUIRKY SUBJECTS; HE HAD THIS
PERPETUAL EYE OPEN FOR THE
OPPORTUNITY.
ONE FEELS THAT THIS IS BASED ON
SOMETHING, IF IT IS BY LOWRY,
THAT THE MAN ENCOUNTERED.
BORN IN LANCASHIRE IN 1887,
LOWRY BECAME FASCINATED BY THE
FACTORIES AND EVERYDAY LIFE OF
MANCHESTER AND SALFORD, WHERE
HE LIVED AND WORKED AS A RENT
COLLECTOR.
OFTEN SNEERED AT BY THE ART
ESTABLISHMENT, HE PAINTED FOR
DECADES IN OBSCURITY BEFORE
FINDING FAME IN OLD AGE.
BY THE 1960s AND '70s, HE WAS
WILDLY POPULAR, A GENUINE
PEOPLE'S ARTIST, AND, AFTER HE
DIED, EVEN THE SUBJECT OF A
CHART-TOPPING SONG.

A song goes HE PAINTED MATCHSTALK MEN
AND MATCHSTALK CATS
AND DOGS

Philip says MANY OF LOWRY'S
ADMIRERS WERE NEW TO ART BUYING
AND KEEN TO STAY IN TOUCH WITH
THEIR NORTHERN ROOTS - JUST
LIKE STEPHEN'S FATHER, GERALD.

Fiona looks at a photograph and says AND THIS IS YOUR DAD
HERE, IS IT?
LET'S HAVE A LOOK AT THESE
PICTURES; HE LOOKS QUITE A
CHARACTER.

Stephen says HE WAS; HE WAS
QUITE...

Fiona says THAT'S YOUR MUM, IS
IT, WITH THE BEEHIVE?

Stephen says IT IS, YES.

Fiona says AND YOUR DAD LOOKING
LIKE SOMETHING OUT OF MISSION
IMPOSSIBLE - TREMENDOUS!

Stephen says IT IS; 1970s
PERIOD PIECE, ISN'T IT, REALLY.

Philip says IT REALLY IS.

Fiona says THE SON OF A NURSE
AND MERCHANT SEAMAN, GERALD
AMES WAS A SELF-MADE MAN WHO
BECAME A SUCCESSFUL COMPANY
DIRECTOR, ABLE TO AFFORD THE
FINER THINGS IN LIFE.
AND HAVE YOU GOT ANOTHER
PICTURE THERE; WHAT'S THAT ONE
UNDERNEATH?

Stephen says I THINK THIS
IS SLIGHTLY EARLIER.
HE BOUGHT THIS PLANE, I'M SURE,
IN 1969, OR 1970, SO IT'S ALL
THE SAME PERIOD.

Fiona says WHAT A DUDE YOUR DAD
WAS.
GREAT CHILDHOOD YOU MUST HAVE
HAD, GROWING UP WITH ALL THESE
BOYS' TOYS.

Stephen says WE DID, WE DID
HAVE A FANTASTIC CHILDHOOD.

Philip says SO, HE WAS A BIT OF
A CONNOISSEUR HIMSELF, WAS HE?

Stephen says YES, HE WAS A
CONNOISSEUR HIMSELF; HE WAS.
HE WAS QUITE A KEEN AMATEUR
PAINTER HIMSELF; HE WAS A GREAT
FAN OF LOWRY AND OTHER NORTHERN
ARTISTS.
HE BOUGHT THEM REALLY ALL
WITHIN A YEAR, THESE THREE
CERTAINLY, I SHOULD THINK;
18 MONTHS ANYWAY.

Philip says DO YOU KNOW WHERE
YOUR FATHER BOUGHT THESE
PICTURES?
WERE THEY FROM AUCTION?

Stephen says NO, THEY
WEREN'T FROM AUCTION, AND THAT
I DO KNOW.
I REMEMBER HIM GOING DOWN WITH
MY MOTHER AND GOING THROUGH
THEM AND LOOKING AT THEM IN A
GALLERY.
I DO REMEMBER THAT; HE WOULDN'T
HAVE BOUGHT THEM AT AUCTION,
HE WASN'T THAT -

Fiona says SO, HE BOUGHT THEM
FROM A DEALER.

Stephen says YES.

Philip says A MAN OF TASTE.

Stephen says YES.

Fiona says THE PROBLEM FOR STEVE
IS THERE ARE NO RECORDS TO SHOW
WHERE AND WHEN HIS FATHER
BOUGHT THE LOWRY PAINTINGS, SO
THERE'S NO REAL EVIDENCE TO
SHOW THAT THEY ARE AUTHENTIC
LOWRYS.

Philip says SO, WHAT'S HAPPENED
NOW?
YOU'VE TRIED TO PROVE THESE
PICTURES ARE BY LOWRY?

Stephen says WE HAD
EVERYTHING VALUED, AND BECAUSE
I COULDN'T FIND ANYTHING...

Fiona says YOU COULDN'T FIND ANY
DOCUMENTATION?

Stephen says NO, I COULD
EVERYTHING ELSE, BUT NOT ON
THESE THREE.

Philip says YOU'VE GIVEN US A
HORRIFIC CHALLENGE BECAUSE
WITHOUT THE PAPERWORK, WITHOUT
THE RECEIPTS, WITHOUT THE PROOF
THAT YOUR DAD ACTUALLY BOUGHT
THESE THINGS...

Stephen says YES, I KNOW.
LOOK, PHILIP, I PROMISE YOU
I'VE BEEN THROUGH THOUSANDS OF
PIECES OF PAPER, AND MY BROTHER
HAS, IF ANYTHING, MORE THAN I
HAVE; AND MY WIFE, WHO'S A
LAWYER, AND THEY'RE GOOD AT
GOING THROUGH PIECES OF PAPER.
AND WE REALLY CAN'T FIND
ANYTHING.

Fiona says SO, HERE WE HAVE A
MAN WHO KNEW A BIT ABOUT ART,
BOUGHT THREE PAINTINGS IN
LOWRY'S LIFETIME, AND NOW
YOU'RE STUCK WITH THEM.

Stephen says YEAH, THEY ARE
WORTHLESS WITHOUT
AUTHENTICATION, YEAH.

Fiona says AT THE MOMENT, STEVE,
COME ON.
IF THEY ARE BY LOWRY, PHILIP,
WHAT WOULD THEY BE WORTH?

Philip says STEVE, THIS IS JUST
GOING TO REALLY FRUSTRATE YOU.
BECAUSE IF WE WERE TO START
WITH THE OLD COUPLE, I CAN SEE
THAT MAKING £0,000 POUNDS, 50,000 POUNDS.
I CAN SEE THE QUIRKY LADY IN
BLACK WITH THE DOGS MAKING
60,000 POUNDS, POSSIBLY EVEN A
LITTLE BIT MORE; IT'S SO
BEGUILING.
AND AS FOR THE "CROWD SCENE,"
THAT COULD EVEN TOUCH 100,000 POUNDS.
YOU'RE LOOKING AT OVER 200,000 POUNDS
WORTH OF PICTURES HERE IF -
AND YOU HAVEN'T GOT IT - IF
YOU CAN GET THE PAPERWORK.

Stephen says YEAH...
EXPENSIVE PAPERWORK.

Fiona says YEAH.
WE'RE NOT THE FIRST TO SEARCH
FOR PROOF THAT THE THREE
PAINTINGS ARE GENUINE, WITH
SEVERAL AUCTION HOUSES DRAWING
A BLANK AFTER MONTHS OF
ENQUIRIES.

Stephen says THE FACT THAT
THEY WEREN'T AUTHENTICATED OR
THEY WOULDN'T BE AUTHENTICATED,
IT SORT OF UPSET ME A BIT,
BECAUSE IT'S ABOUT HIS MEMORY,
REALLY, AND HE WASN'T THE TYPE
OF PERSON WHO WOULD BE DUPED,
IN MY VIEW, PARTICULARLY AT
THIS PERIOD OF HIS LIFE.

Fiona says IT'S A POINT OF
FAMILY PRIDE FOR STEVE TO PROVE
THAT THE THREE PICTURES ARE
GENUINE.
HIS FATHER WAS PASSIONATE ABOUT
THE ART OF THE NORTHWEST OF
ENGLAND, BUYING WORKS BY ALAN
OF LOWRY, FROM REPUTABLE
GALLERIES.
A PROFITABLE SPELL IN THE EARLY
'70s ALLOWED HIM TO SPLASH OUT
ON QUALITY WORKS, AND THIS IS
WHEN STEVE THINKS HIS FATHER
MUST HAVE BOUGHT THE LOWRYS.

Philip and Fiona leave Stephen’s house.

Philip says BUT IN THE ABSENCE
OF A PAPER TRAIL, THE ONLY REAL
EVIDENCE THAT THESE PICTURES
MIGHT BE GENUINE LIES IN HOW
THEY LOOK.
TO FIND OUT HOW FAR THEY
RESEMBLE AUTHENTIC WORKS BY
L.S. LOWRY, FIONA AND I HAVE
COME TO SALFORD QUAYS, WHERE OVER
400 OF HIS WORKS ARE HELD.
THIS IS ARGUABLY HIS MOST
FAMOUS PICTURE, 1930, "COMING
FROM THE MILL."

They look at a picture of a crowd coming out of a building.

Fiona says LOWRY SAID THAT HE
WOULD START A PAINTING BY
BLOCKING IN THE BUILDINGS AND
THEN THE PEOPLE AFTERWARDS.
LOOKING AT THESE BUILDINGS YOU
GET THE SENSE THAT'S WHAT HE'S
DONE THERE, DON'T YOU?

Philip says YEAH, VERY MUCH SO.
I SEE WITH LOWRY THE
ARCHITECTURE, WHICH IS
INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT, ACTS A
BIT LIKE THE STAGE PROPS, AND
THE CHARACTERS, THE ACTORS WHO
IMPART THE EMOTION ARE THE
FIGURES AT THE BOTTOM.
AND BY SETTING THESE FIGURES
AGAINST A LIGHT BACKGROUND,
HE'S CONVEYING A SENSE OF
EMOTION, A SENSE OF THOUGHT,
AND LET'S FACE IT, HE'S
PROBABLY THE MOST DISTINCTIVE
ARTIST AT WORK IN BRITAIN IN
THE 20TH CENTURY.
ABOVE ALL, LOWRY'S WORK IS
DECEPTIVELY SIMPLE, ALMOST
PRIMITIVE.
A CLASSICALLY TRAINED PAINTER
WHO RESENTED BEING BILLED AN
AMATEUR, LOWRY'S WORK BROKE
WITH CONVENTION.
HE CALLED THEM DREAMSCAPES, AND
IN THE POST-WAR YEARS OFTEN
FILLED THEM WITH QUIRKY, EVEN
GROTESQUE CHARACTERS.
AND IT'S THESE WORKS WHICH HAVE
THE CLOSEST RESEMBLANCE TO
STEVE'S PAINTINGS.
THE OLD WOMAN IN "THE FUNERAL
PARTY," PAINTED BY LOWRY IN
1957, IS UNCANNILY CLOSE TO THE
WOMAN IN STEVE'S PICTURE.
THIS PAINTING, "FIGURES IN A
IN THE SKYLINE AND THE
COMPOSITION OF STEVE'S "CROWD
SCENE."
AND LOWRY'S TRADEMARK BLACK
DOGS ARE EVERYWHERE, SOMETIMES
LOOKING ALMOST CAT-LIKE, JUST
AS THEY DO IN STEVE'S PICTURE,
"LADY WITH DOGS."

Fiona says ENCOURAGED BY THE
SIMILARITIES BETWEEN STEVE'S
PICTURES AND LOWRY'S GENUINE
WORK, WE'RE MEETING UP WITH
DOCTOR BENDOR GROSVENOR, FAKE OR
FORTUNE'S SPECIALIST ART
RESEARCHER.
HE'S BEEN HUNTING FOR
INFORMATION ABOUT THE HISTORY
OF THE PAINTINGS.

Bendor is in his forties, clean-shaven and with short thinning brown hair. He wears black trousers, a white shirt and a blue sweater.

Bendor says HI.

Fiona says HI THERE.

Bendor says CAN I START WITH THE
PICTURE I THINK IS THE MOST
PROMISING OF OUR THREE?
I THINK IT'S "LADY WITH DOGS."
AND I THINK, AS WE ALWAYS LIKE
TO DO, I'D LIKE TO START ON THE
BACK BECAUSE WE HAVE WHAT LOOKS
LIKE A RATHER PROMISING STOCK
NUMBER.
AND I'M HOPING THAT THAT'S
GOING TO TIE IN WITH THIS LABEL
FROM THE LEFEVRE GALLERY DOWN
HERE.

Fiona says NOW, LEFEVRE IS A
VERY INTERESTING NAME BECAUSE
LEFEVRE AND LOWRY HAD A LONG
AND CLOSE CONNECTION.
LEFEVRE WAS THE FIRST GALLERY
TO MOUNT A SOLO EXHIBITION OF
LOWRY'S WORK IN 1939.
AND, IN FACT, I'M TOLD NONE OF
THE PAINTINGS SOLD AND LEFEVRE
BOUGHT SOME OF THEM THEMSELVES
SO AS NOT TO DISAPPOINT LOWRY
TOO MUCH.
BUT THEN, BY THE TIME IT CAME
TO THE 1960s, IT WAS A SORT OF
EVENT FOR THE GLITTERATI, AND
LOWRY'S EXHIBITIONS WOULD SELL
OUT ON THE FIRST DAY.
AND IMPORTANTLY, THE LEFEVRE
GALLERY IS STILL AROUND TODAY.

Philip says WE NEED TO KNOW IF
THEY'VE GOT ANY ARCHIVES, AND,
IF SO, WE NEED TO GET ACCESS TO
THEM.

Bendor says ONE SLIGHT PROBLEM
PERHAPS WITH "LADY WITH DOGS."
IS THE SIGNATURE, WHICH IS
WRITTEN ON IN BIRO.

Fiona says DID LOWRY DO HIS
SIGNATURES IN BIRO?

Philip says ACTUALLY, YOU'RE NOT
THE FIRST TO POINT THAT OUT AND
BE WORRIED ABOUT IT.
THE AUCTION HOUSE WHO FIRST
CHECKED OUT THESE PICTURES
SAID, WHY SHOULDN'T IT BE
PAINTED OR SCRATCHED IN, AS HE
OFTEN DID?
THAT WAS A QUESTION MARK ALSO.

Fiona says WHEN IT COMES TO OUR
OTHER TWO PICTURES, THOUGH,
THERE'S PRECIOUS LITTLE TO GO
ON.
SO, WE'VE GOT AN OLD COUPLE
DATED 1957 AND THEN AN UNDATED
"CROWD SCENE."
LOOKING AT THE BACK OF THESE IS
POTENTIALLY A BIT LESS
PROMISING.
THOSE TWO WHITE STICKERS THAT
LEAP OUT AT US ARE FROM THIS
AUCTION HOUSE, WHICH CHECKED
OUT THE PAINTINGS, NOTHING
MORE.

Philip says YEAH, BUT IF YOU
LOOK AT THE OLD COUPLE ON THE
LEFT, THE INSCRIPTION SAYS DARBY AND JONES.
I THINK THAT'S PROBABLY MEANT
TO READ "DARBY AND JOAN."

Fiona says SO, THE OLD MARRIED
COUPLE.

Philip says EXACTLY.

Bendor says QUITE A COMMON
SUBJECT FOR ARTISTS AT THAT
POINT.

Fiona says NOT FANTASTICALLY
RICH PICKINGS, IS IT?
WE HAVE GOT SOMETHING ELSE TO
GO ON BECAUSE STEVE MENTIONED A
NAME TO ME, ANDRAS KALMAN, WHO
YOU WILL KNOW WAS A WELL-KNOWN
LONDON ART DEALER WHO DEALT IN
LOWRY, AMONGST OTHERS.
SO, THAT'S A POSSIBLE
CONNECTION.

Bendor says YES, IN FACT, HIS
GALLERY, CRANE KALMAN, STILL
EXISTS AND I'LL GO ALONG AND
SEE WHAT THEY HAVE IN THEIR
ARCHIVES.

Philip says YEAH, WE REALLY NEED
TO CRACK THE PROVENANCE ON
THIS, BUT ALSO THE SCIENCE.
NO ONE HAS REALLY GOT TO GRIPS
WITH WHAT LOWRY LOOKS LIKE AS
AN ARTIST UP CLOSE.
IT'S ABOUT TIME WE PUT HIM
UNDER THE MICROSCOPE.
I'M ON MY WAY TO MEET ONE OF
FAKE OR FORTUNE'S EXPERTS IN
THE SCIENTIFIC ANALYSIS OF
PAINTINGS, LIBBY SHELDON.
SHE'S BEEN STUDYING LOWRY'S
ARTISTIC TECHNIQUES AND IS KEEN
TO EXAMINE STEVE'S PAINTINGS UP
CLOSE TO SEE IF THEY BEAR ANY
HALLMARKS OF THE MASTER, OR ANY
OMINOUS SIGNS THAT THEY WERE
CREATED MORE RECENTLY.
FIRST, SHE NEEDS TO FREE THEM
FROM THEIR OVERPOWERING 1970s
FRAMES.
THIS WAS A COMMON WAY OF
PUTTING PICTURES IN THEIR
FRAMES; WE DON'T DO IT SO MUCH
THOUGH NOW.

Libby takes the crowd scene picture out of the frame and says THAT'S A GOOD
THING, ISN'T IT?
SHOWS IT'S GOT SOME AGE ANYWAY.
WONDERFUL.

Philip says ACTUALLY, IT LOOKS A
LOT FRESHER THAN IT DID, DIDN'T
IT, PROBABLY BECAUSE THE GLASS
WAS SLIGHTLY DISCOLOURED.

Libby says THIS IS VERY
INTERESTING TO SEE IT WITHOUT
THE GLASS BECAUSE IT LOOKS TO
ME AS IF THERE ISN'T A VARNISH
ON THIS AND NEVER HAS BEEN.
AND LOWRY WAS VERY ADAMANT THAT
HIS PAINTINGS SHOULDN'T BE
VARNISHED.

Philip says NOW ONTO "DARBY AND
JOAN," OUR OLD COUPLE.
UNLIKE THE OTHER TWO PICTURES,
THIS ONE IS PAINTED ON A WOOD
PANEL.
BUT DOES THIS MAKE IT MORE OR
LESS LIKELY TO BE A GENUINE
LOWRY?

Libby says TO ME, THE
WOOD IS A GREAT THING BECAUSE
LOWRY LOVED WOOD.
SO, SLIGHTLY MORE DIFFICULT
THING TO GET A PIECE OF WOOD
THAT'S IN GOOD CONDITION IN
ORDER TO CREATE A FAKE.

Philip says OH, THAT'S
INTERESTING: SO, WOOD GIVES YOU
A LITTLE BIT MORE COMFORT.

Libby says YES; NOW...

Philip says OH, YES!

Libby says FABULOUS.

Philip says GOD, ISN'T THAT
INTERESTING?
YOU CAN NOW SEE THE TEXTURE IN
A WAY THAT YOU COULDN'T BEFORE.

Libby says YES.

Philip says IT'S APPLIED REALLY
THICKLY, ISN'T IT.

Libby says YES, AND ALSO
IT TUMBLES OVER THE EDGES,
LOOK.

Philip says IF THIS IS BY A
FAKER, IT'S BY SOMEONE WHO
KNOWS THEIR WAY AROUND A POT OF
PAINT.

Libby says VERY
COMPETENT, YES.

(music plays)

Philip says LIBBY'S TAKING TINY
SAMPLES FROM THE SURFACE OF
STEVE'S PAINTINGS TO FIND OUT
PRECISELY WHAT PIGMENTS ARE
PRESENT.
LOWRY CLAIMED THAT HE ONLY EVER
USED FIVE PARTICULAR PIGMENTS.

Captions pop up on the screen. They read "I’m a simple man and I use simple materials. My colours are and always have been: Flake White, Ivory Black; Scarlet Vermilion, Prussian Blue, and Yellow Ochre."

Philip says JUST FIVE COLOURS, AND ALWAYS
FROM THE WINSOR and NEWTON
COMPANY.
THESE SHOULD BE THE ONLY ONES
LIBBY'S TESTS REVEAL IN STEVE'S
PAINTINGS.
ANYTHING OUT OF THE ORDINARY
COULD SPELL TROUBLE.

In front of a computer, Fiona says WHILE WE WAIT FOR THE
RESULTS OF LIBBY'S SCIENTIFIC
ANALYSIS, I'M DOING SOME
RESEARCH INTO THE MARKET FOR
LOWRY'S WORKS.
YOU JUST HAVE TO HAVE A QUICK
LOOK ON THE INTERNET TO SEE
QUITE HOW MANY LOWRYS THERE
ARE FOR SALE HERE; IT'S JUST
AMAZING.
THERE ARE SOME GOING FOR 3.65 POUNDS;
MIND YOU, THAT'S HAD FOUR BIDS.
LOOK, THERE'S ONE HERE FOR 340 POUNDS.
"WONDERFUL NORTHERN ART ORIGINAL
OIL PAINTING, L.S. LOWRY."
NOW, IT SAYS ORIGINAL PAINTING,
AND THEN IT SAYS L.S. LOWRY.
IT DOESN'T SAY ORIGINAL
PAINTING BY L.S. LOWRY, BUT
THAT'S WHAT YOU'D THINK, AND
IT'S SIGNED BY L.S. LOWRY.
NO PROVENANCE FOR THIS ONE, I'M
AFRAID; NO SURPRISE THERE.
"GORGEOUS COLOURS, LOTS OF
FIGURES TO BE SEEN IN THIS
PAINTING."
OH, LISTEN TO THIS, "I'M SELLING
THIS BEAUTIFUL PAINTING FROM MY
L.S. LOWRY COLLECTION," NO LESS.
IT'S VERY INTERESTING; IT'S
STAYING ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF
THE LAW, BUT ONLY JUST.
BUT THIS IS...
THIS IS AN INDUSTRY YOU'RE
SEEING HERE.
THE ART MARKET MIGHT BE AWASH
WITH MODERN LOWRY COPIES, BUT
I'VE FOUND TROUBLING EVIDENCE
THAT HIS WORK WAS BEING FORGED
AS EARLY AS THE 1970s,
PRECISELY WHEN STEVE'S DAD IS
THOUGHT TO HAVE BOUGHT HIS
PAINTINGS.
I HAVE MANAGED TO FIND SOMEBODY
WHO WAS FAKING LOWRY AS EARLY
AS 1969.
NOW, HE WAS A MAN CALLED JOHN
GREEN AND HE LIVED,
APPROPRIATELY ENOUGH, ON THE
COSTA DEL SOL.
AND HE WOULD SAY LOWRYS ARE A
PIECE OF CAKE TO COPY.
AND TO BEGIN WITH, HE WOULD
SELL THEM FOR A FEW HUNDRED
QUID, A FEW THOUSAND POUNDS.
BUT AFTER LOWRY DIED, SUDDENLY
JOHN GREEN REALIZED HE COULD
MAKE EVEN MORE MONEY FROM
LOWRYS AND HE WOULD START TO
CHARGE 40,000 POUNDS A TIME FOR HIS
PAINTINGS.
THIS WAS SERIOUS MONEY.
WHO KNOWS HOW MANY FAKE LOWRYS
BY JOHN GREEN ARE OUT IN THE
MARKET?
IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO SAY.
I'M WORRIED ABOUT HOW TAINTED
THE MARKET FOR LOWRY'S WORKS
MIGHT BE.
SO, I'VE ARRANGED TO MEET JAMES
RAWLIN, FORMER HEAD OF MODERN
ART AT SOTHEBY'S, TO FIND OUT
WHY LOWRY BECAME SUCH A SOFT
TARGET FOR FORGERS.

She meets James at a café.

James is in his late forties, with short wavy gray hair and a beard. He wears a blue blazer, a white shirt and a printed neck scarf.

Fiona says JAMES, HOW OFTEN WOULD LOWRYS
BE BROUGHT TO YOU?
AND HAS A FAKE EVER COME ACROSS
YOUR DESK AND YOU'VE THOUGHT IT
WAS GENUINE?

James says THERE ARE
PICTURES THAT COME UP THAT TAKE
A LOT OF THINKING ABOUT.

Fiona says IS THAT A YES?

He nods.

Fiona laughs and says JUST SHOWS HOW DIFFICULT IT IS
THOUGH, ISN'T IT?

James says IT IS, IT IS
VERY...

Fiona says EVEN YOU HAVE BEEN
TAKEN IN.

James says IT'S VERY
TRICKY TO BE ABLE TO PIN
SOMETHING DOWN CATEGORICALLY.

Fiona says WHAT SHOULD WE BE
LOOKING OUT FOR?
YOU'VE SEEN LOTS OF LOWRY FAKES
IN YOUR TIME; WHAT SETS ALARM
BELLS RINGING FOR YOU?

James says TO FAKE A
LOWRY SUCCESSFULLY, YOU NEED TO
BE ABLE TO REPLICATE THE
TECHNIQUE, REPLICATE THE
PALETTE, BUT...

Fiona says WHICH, OF COURSE, WAS
LIMITED, 'COS HE ONLY USED FIVE
COLOURS BY AND LARGE.

James says BUT THAT IN
ITSELF MEANS YOU NEED TO
REPLICATE THE SPIRIT OF THE
PICTURES.

Fiona says PRESUMABLY WITH
LOWRY, A FAKE IS GOING TO GO
AFTER THE MORE POPULAR LOWRY
SUBJECTS, SO THE MILLS, THE
CROWD SCENES, THAT KIND OF
THING.

James says YEAH, THAT'S
VERY MUCH THE PATH THAT YOU ARE
GOING TO SEE MOST PEOPLE
FOLLOWING IF THEY'RE GOING TO
FAKE A LOWRY, BECAUSE THAT'S
WHAT HE'S KNOWN FOR.
IT'S THE STREET SCENES, THE
CHIMNEYS, FIGURES WITH DOGS,
THAT SORT OF THING; AND, OF
COURSE, TOWARDS THE END OF HIS
LIFE, THOSE SMALLER PANELS WITH
THE ONE OR TWO FIGURE GROUPS.
I SUPPOSE PROBABLY BECAUSE
THEY'RE PERCEIVED TO BE A
SIMPLER KIND OF PICTURE.

Fiona says THE APPARENT
SIMPLICITY OF LOWRY'S WORK HAS
BEEN EXPLOITED BY FORGERS TO
SUCH AN EXTENT THAT THERE'S
CURRENTLY NO OFFICIAL BODY
PREPARED TO AUTHENTICATE NEWLY
DISCOVERED WORKS.
IT OCCURS TO ME, HAVING TALKED
TO JAMES, THAT WE ARE PROBABLY
GOING TO HAVE TO WORK EVEN
HARDER WITH LOWRY THAN WE HAVE
WITH ANY OTHER ARTIST WE'VE
DEALT WITH IN THE PAST, BECAUSE
HE IS SO WIDELY FAKED.
WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO PUT
TOGETHER AN ABSOLUTELY
WATERTIGHT ARGUMENT FOR THESE
LOWRYS, AND WHEN IT COMES TO
THE PANEL OF PEOPLE WHO
ULTIMATELY WILL VERIFY IT, EVEN
IF THEY THINK IT PROBABLY IS A
LOWRY, UNLESS THEY'RE 100
PERCENT SURE, THEY'RE GOING TO
ERR ON THE SIDE OF CAUTION AND
SAY NO.

(music plays)

Fiona says IF WE'RE GOING TO CONVINCE A
SPECIALLY ASSEMBLED PANEL OF
EXPERTS TO ACCEPT STEVE'S
PICTURES AS GENUINE, WE NEED
PROVENANCE, HARD EVIDENCE THAT
SHOWS A CHAIN OF OWNERSHIP
BEGINNING WITH LOWRY HIMSELF
AND ENDING WITH STEVE'S DAD,
GERALD AMES.
WE THINK HE BOUGHT "LADY WITH
DOGS," THE MOST PROMISING
PICTURE, FROM THE LEFEVRE
GALLERY, AND OUR RESEARCH INTO
THE LABEL ON THE BACK OF THE
PICTURE HAS SUDDENLY BORNE
FRUIT.

Philip says I'VE JUST HAD A
FASCINATING E-MAIL FROM MY
GALLERY STAFF.
THEY'VE COME ACROSS A PICTURE
IN CHESHIRE, SAME COUNTY WHERE
STEVE LIVES, A PAINTING BY
LOWRY FULLY AUTHENTICATED.
AND THE FASCINATING THING IS ON
THE BACK OF IT IS A NUMBER
BEGINNING WITH X - VERY SIMILAR
TO THE STYLE OF NUMBER WE HAVE
ON THE LADY WITH THE TWO DOGS.
I'VE COME TO WRIGHT MARSHALL
AUCTIONEERS IN KNUTSFORD.

At an auction, the auctioneer 7,300 POUNDS NOW, AT
7,300 POUNDS, SEATED.
AT 7,300 POUNDS, ALL YOURS!

Philip says WITH THE SALE
ALREADY IN PROGRESS, I'VE
PERSUADED THEM TO LET ME HAVE A
SNEAK PREVIEW OF THE GENUINE
LOWRY, AND THERE'S SOMETHING
REMARKABLE ABOUT IT.
THIS IS THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY
COINCIDENCE: THIS PICTURE, A
FULLY AUTHENTICATED LOWRY, IT'S
GOT ALL THE PAPERWORK, IS ABOUT
TO BE SOLD - IN FACT,
DOWNSTAIRS IN ABOUT AN HOUR'S
TIME, AND WE'VE MANAGED TO
SNEAK IT UP HERE TO HAVE A
LOOK.
BUT JUST LOOK AT IT; IT'S
EXACTLY THE SAME FRAME AS THAT
AROUND STEVE'S: CARVED, GILDED,
WITH A CANVAS SLIP.
BUT THE BEST BIT COMES WHEN YOU
TURN IT OVER, BECAUSE NOT ONLY
HAVE YOU GOT A LABEL, A LEFEVRE
LABEL, EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE
ONE ON STEVE'S - LOOKS LIKE THE
SAME TYPEWRITER.
MOVE YOUR EYE UP, AND THIS IS
THE KNOCKOUT BLOW: YOU'VE GOT
THE NUMBER X9102, ANOTHER X
NUMBER.
BUT JUST LOOK AT THE NUMBER,
9102; COMPARE IT TO STEVE'S,
9101.
SO, WE'RE LEFT WITH THE
EXTRAORDINARY CONCLUSION THAT
THESE TWO PICTURES MUST HAVE
HUNG TOGETHER IN THE SAME
EXHIBITION, PROBABLY AT
LEFEVRE; THEY BELONG TOGETHER.
NOW, SURELY, THE MOST
SOPHISTICATED FAKER COULDN'T
THINK OF THAT ONE.

The auctioneer says OT 1125, THE
RATHER SPECIAL L.S. LOWRY OIL
PAINTING "PEOPLE IN A STREET,"
SIGNED, COMPLETELY
AUTHENTICATED, FULL BILL OF
SALE AND PROVENANCE ALL THE WAY
BACK TO ITS ORIGINAL PURCHASE
FROM THE LEFEVRE GALLERY, '72.
WE'VE GOT THE ALL-IMPORTANT
LITTLE X NUMBER ON THE BACK AS
WELL.
I'LL START YOU STRAIGHT OFF IN
AT 50,000 POUNDS, AT 50,000 POUNDS I BID.
WHO'S IN NEXT, 51, 52, 53, AT
54, 55.

Philip says NOT SURPRISINGLY,
BIDDING IS BRISK.

The auctioneer says 60,000 POUNDS, AT
60,000 POUNDS NOW.
ANY FURTHER BIDS, GOING ONCE,
TWICE, THREE TIMES AT 60,000 POUNDS -
ALL DONE NOW.
YOURS, SIR, THANK YOU, AT
60,000 POUNDS.

Philip says SO, WITH AUCTION TAX
AND COMMISSION, THAT PAINTING
MADE 75,000 POUNDS.
BUT MAKE NO MISTAKE, IT WASN'T
JUST THE PICTURE THAT MADE THAT
SUM OF MONEY; IT WAS THE
ALL-IMPORTANT BILL OF SALE,
THAT PIECE OF PAPER THAT STEVE
DOESN'T HAVE FOR HIS LITTLE
PICTURE.

Fiona says PHILIP'S DISCOVERY IN
CHESHIRE SHOULD HELP OUR QUEST
TO PROVE THAT "LADY WITH DOGS."
IS AUTHENTIC, BUT THERE'S
PRECIOUS LITTLE INFORMATION
ABOUT THE PROVENANCE OF STEVE'S
OTHER TWO PICTURES, "CROWD
SCENE" AND "DARBY AND JOAN."
THE ONLY LEAD WE HAVE IS THAT
STEVE'S FATHER, GERALD AMES,
KNEW THE FOUNDER OF THE CRANE
KALMAN GALLERY, WHO SPECIALIZED
IN THE SALE OF LOWRY'S ART IN
THE '70s.
AND BENDOR IS KEEN TO FIND OUT
WHETHER THEY MIGHT HAVE SOLD
HIM THE PICTURES.

Bendor says SPLENDID, MORE
THINGS.

Robin is in his late forties, clean-shaven and with thinning straight red hair. He wears a gray suit and a pink shirt.

Robin brings Bendor a box and says THE BOX OF
GOODIES.

Bendor says IN THIS LOWRY'S OLD
STOCK.

Fiona says TODAY, THE GALLERY IS
HEADED BY ROBIN LIGHT, A
LEADING EXPERT ON LOWRY, AND
HE'S OFFERED TO SHOW BENDOR
WHAT A GENUINE WORK SOLD
THROUGH CRANE KALMAN SHOULD
LOOK LIKE.

Robin flips over a picture and says AS A RULE - OF
COURSE, IT DOESN'T HAPPEN WITH
EVERYTHING 'CAUSE LABELS FALL
OFF OR THEY GET CHANGED BY
FRAME MAKERS - BUT WE TEND TO
ALWAYS LOOK FOR THIS, A VERY
SIMPLE CRANE KALMAN LABEL,
TITLE, ARTIST, DATE, BUYER.
AND HERE WE HAVE LOWRY, TWO
PEOPLE, SOLD IN DECEMBER 1973.
IF WE REFERENCE THE LEDGER, WE
GO TO '73, AND HERE WE HAVE IT:
13th OF DECEMBER 1973, TWO
PEOPLE, IT SOLD FOR 2,500 POUNDS.

Bendor says SO, THAT'S THE
SYSTEM WORKING PERFECTLY.
AND WE'RE A BIT STUCK HERE.

Robin says YEP.

Fiona says WITH NO LABELS ON TWO
OF OUR PAINTINGS, IS THERE ANY
EVIDENCE OF A SALE TO GERALD
AMES IN THE GALLERY'S LEDGERS?

Robin says I'VE CHECKED
OUT THE PAGES FROM 1969 THROUGH
TO '75 AND CANNOT FIND ANY
REFERENCE AT ALL FOR A G. AMES.

Bendor says ROBIN, IF I FAIL
COMPLETELY IN MY MISSION TO
FIND ANY PROVENANCE FOR THESE
TWO PAINTINGS AT ALL, WOULD YOU
EVER FEEL CONFIDENT ENOUGH
ABOUT JUST MAKING ATTRIBUTION
ON THE BASIS OF WHAT YOU SEE
THERE, THE IMAGE ITSELF?

Robin says WE WOULD BE
VERY DISMISSIVE OF SELLING
SOMETHING WITHOUT A TRACK
RECORD, ESPECIALLY WITH LOWRY.
IT WAS KNOWN IN THE '70s, I
THINK, PICTURES WERE COMING
FROM SPAIN AND PROBABLY ALL
SORTS OF OTHER PLACES.
I THINK I'D SAY, HAND ON HEART,
WE WOULDN'T STRAIGHT AWAY SAY,
YES, WE'LL BUY THESE.
I WOULD HAVE TO SAY, YES, WE'LL
BUY THESE IF WE CAN CORROBORATE
THE PROVENANCE.

Bendor says OKAY, ALL RIGHT.

(music plays)

Fiona says WITH SO LITTLE
INFORMATION ABOUT THE ORIGINS
OF "CROWD SCENE" AND "DARBY AND
JOAN," HOW CAN WE BE SURE
THEY'RE NOT CLEVER FORGERIES?
MY RESEARCH INTO LOWRY FAKES
HAS TURNED UP A DISTURBING CASE
FROM 2007.

[BBC News theme music]

A clip from BBC news rolls.

A newscaster says FOR YEARS,
GEORGE AND OLIVE GREENHALGH AND
THEIR SON SHAUN HAVE CHEATED
GALLERIES AND ART DEALERS BY
PASSING OFF FORGERIES AS
TREASURED ARTIFACTS.

Fiona says SHAUN GREENHALGH WAS
SENTENCED TO FOUR YEARS IN
PRISON FOR FAKING EVERYTHING
FROM ANTIQUITIES TO MODERN
ART...
INCLUDING THE WORK OF L.S.
LOWRY.
TODAY, HE'S A REFORMED
CHARACTER AND HE'S AGREED TO
HELP OUR INVESTIGATION.
HE'S OFFERED TO SHOW US HOW HE
WENT ABOUT CREATING A FAKE
LOWRY AND ANY WARNING SIGNS WE
SHOULD LOOK OUT FOR IN OUR
PICTURES.

Fiona meets Shaun in his art studio. Shaun is replicating a Lowry.

SHAUN, YOU SUCCESSFULLY FAKED
LOWRYS EVEN WHILE YOU WERE AT
SCHOOL, DIDN'T YOU?

Shaun says YES, ABOUT
15, I THINK, MY FIRST
SUCCESSFUL LOWRY I MANAGED TO
DO.

Fiona says WHEN YOU SAY
SUCCESSFUL, YOU MANAGED TO SELL
IT, YOU MEAN?

Shaun says YEAH,
THROUGH A DEALER WHO USED TO
DEAL IN LOWRYS WHEN HE WAS
ALIVE, YEAH.

Fiona says SHAUN'S METICULOUS
APPROACH TO PAINTING A FAKE
LOWRY SHOWED JUST HOW DIFFICULT
IT CAN BE TO TELL THE
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FORGERY
AND THE GENUINE ARTICLE.

Shaun says YOU'VE
JUST GOT TO KIND OF GET THIS ON
AS FAST AS YOU CAN, KIND OF
JUST SLOSH IT ON INITIALLY, GET
THE TEXTURE INTO IT.
I USE QUITE A LOT OF PAINT,
WINSOR and NEWTON...

Fiona says YEAH, WINSOR and
NEWTON PAINT, AND OF COURSE
THESE FIVE COLOURS.

Shaun says YES, JUST
THE FIVE, AND ESPECIALLY IF YOU
WANT TO DO A FAKE, YOU'D STICK
TO THE ACTUAL COLOURS SO YOU
DIDN'T HAVE ANY KIND OF
CONTROVERSY.
THAT WOULD BE IMPORTANT.

Fiona says WHEN YOU SAW ART
EXPERTS, EMINENT FIGURES IN THE
ART WORLD AUTHENTICATE YOUR
PAINTINGS, WHAT DID THAT MAKE
YOU THINK ABOUT THEIR LEVEL OF
CONNOISSEURSHIP?

Shaun says IN A LOT
OF CASES, I THINK IT'S FOUND
WANTING.
AND PROVENANCE IS, AS WE ALL
KNOW IN THE ART WORLD, MORE
IMPORTANT REALLY THAN THE
ACTUAL WORK OF ART, OR TO MANY
PEOPLE IT IS.

Fiona says BECAUSE OF PEOPLE
LIKE YOU, SHAUN.

Shaun says EXACTLY,
YEAH.

Fiona says I MEAN, IF IT WASN'T
FOR YOU CHURNING OUT YOUR
LOWRYS, PEOPLE WOULDN'T BE
PLACING THE EMPHASIS ON
PROVENANCE THAT THEY ARE.

Shaun says THAT'S
A POINT, YEAH.

Fiona says SO, YOU ARE
RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT.

Shaun says MAY BE,
YEAH.
YOU DO HAVE A POINT.

Fiona says IT'S PAINSTAKING
WORK, TRYING TO PRECISELY
REPLICATE A VERY SPONTANEOUS
ARTIST.

Shaun says WHAT I
ALWAYS FOUND HARD TO DO WAS
TICK THE RIGHT BOXES IN THE
EXPERTS' MINDS WHEN THEY COME
TO LOOK AT THE PAINTING, OR ANY
OTHER WORK OF ART, FOR THAT
MATTER - WHAT ARE THEY ACTUALLY
LOOKING FOR THAT SAYS IT'S
GENUINE, OR IT ISN'T.
AND I THINK IF YOU FIND OUT
WHAT THOSE TRIGGERS ARE AND
TICK THOSE BOXES, THEY GO
FURTHER THAN MOST PEOPLE MIGHT
IMAGINE, EVEN IF THEY'RE
RELATIVELY POOR WORKS.

Fiona says THERE'S ONE QUESTION
I'VE BEEN DREADING TO ASK.
SHAUN ADMITS HE FAKED HIS FIRST
LOWRY IN THE MID-'70s.
COULD HE BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY
OF OUR PICTURES?
I'M JUST CHECKING, YOU DIDN'T
DO ANY OF THESE?

She shows him photographs of the paintings.

Shaun says NO, I'VE
NEVER DONE ANY LATE STUFF.

Fiona says THAT'S REASSURING, AT
LEAST.
[chuckle]
I'M RELIEVED, AND AS SHAUN
KNOWS LOWRY'S WORK INTIMATELY,
I'M KEEN TO KNOW WHETHER OUR
PICTURES LOOK REAL OR FAKE TO
HIS EYE.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Shaun says YEAH, I'D
HAVE NO TROUBLE IN SAYING THAT
THAT'S BY LOWRY.

Fiona says OKAY, THIS IS UNDATED
"CROWD SCENE."

Shaun points at the top of the picture and says I'M A BIT
CONCERNED WITH THIS AREA HERE,
BUT IT'S LIKE I SAY, IT'S HARD
TO TELL WITH NOT THE REAL
THING.
IT JUST KIND OF LOOKS LIKE IT'S
BEEN PAINTED OVER WITH
THINNERS, WHICH LOWRY NEVER
USED; LOOKS VERY, VERY THINLY
PAINTED.

Fiona says WHAT ABOUT THIS ONE,
"LADY WITH DOGS"?

Shaun says HMM, THAT
LOOKS OKAY TO ME, TO MY EYE
ESPECIALLY, YEAH.

Fiona says IT'S NOT PROOF, BUT
IT'S VERY INTERESTING TO HEAR
WHAT YOU THINK.

Shaun says OF COURSE.

(music plays)

Philip says SHAUN'S ENDORSEMENT
OF "LADY WITH DOGS" IS
HEARTENING, SO BENDOR IS
CHASING DOWN THE FINAL PIECE OF
EVIDENCE WE NEED FOR IT TO BE
ACCEPTED AS A GENUINE WORK BY
L.S. LOWRY.
HE'S COME TO THE TATE GALLERY'S
UNDERGROUND VAULTS TO EXAMINE
THE SALES LEDGERS OF THE
LEFEVRE GALLERY, WHOSE LABEL
APPEARS ON THE BACK OF STEVE'S
PICTURE.

At the gallery’s archives, Bendor says THESE PHOTOGRAPHIC
LEDGERS WERE COMPILED BY THE
LEFEVRE GALLERY TO RECORD ALL
THE LOWRYS THAT THEY EVER SOLD.
SO, IF WE'RE GOING TO BACK UP
THE CLAIM THAT ONE OF STEPHEN'S
PICTURES WAS SOLD THROUGH THE
LEFEVRE GALLERY, THEN WE NEED
TO FIND IT IN THESE LEDGERS.

Philip says THE KEY PIECE OF
EVIDENCE IS THAT STOCK NUMBER
BOLDLY WRITTEN ON THE BACK.

Bendor says WHAT WE NEED TO DO
IS MATCH UP THE STOCK NUMBER ON
THE BACK OF STEPHEN'S PICTURE,
X9101, TO ONE OF THE NUMBERS IN
HERE.
NOW, THAT X IS QUITE AN
IMPORTANT NUMBER BECAUSE THE X
NUMBERS DENOTED PAINTINGS THAT
WERE BOUGHT FROM LOWRY HIMSELF.

He browses a picture catalogue and says THAT IS THE PICTURE THAT SOLD
AT AUCTION FOR 60,000 POUNDS, X9102.
HERE WE ARE; RECOGNIZE THAT?
FANTASTIC, HERE IT IS, STEVE'S
PAINTING.
WE JUST BETTER CHECK THAT IT'S
THE SAME PAINTING, NOT SOME
DODGY COPY, AND I THINK THERE
CAN BE ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT AT
ALL THAT WE'VE GOT ONE OF
STEVE'S PAINTINGS HERE.

Philip says IT FEELS NOW THAT WE
COULD HAVE DONE ENOUGH TO PROVE
THAT "LADY WITH DOGS" IS A
GENUINE WORK.
SO, WE'RE ALL GETTING TOGETHER
TO TAKE STOCK.

Fiona says THAT'S REALLY
ENCOURAGING TO FIND "LADY WITH
DOGS" IN THE LEFEVRE LEDGER.

Bendor says IN TERMS OF GETTING
THE PAPER TRAIL ALL THE WAY
BACK FROM A PAINTING TO LOWRY
HIMSELF, IT DOESN'T GET MUCH
BETTER THAN THAT.
I THINK IT MAKES THE PICTURE
ALMOST A DEAD CERT, DOESN'T IT?

Fiona says YOU'RE SO BUOYANT; I
HESITATE TO CAST A SHADOW OVER
PROCEEDINGS, BUT I'VE JUST
HEARD FROM THE LEFEVRE GALLERY
AND THEY HAVE ANOTHER LEDGER
WHICH RECORDS WHAT PAINTINGS
THEY SOLD, WHEN, AND TO WHOM.
THE ONLY PROBLEM IS, THEY WANT
TO KEEP THEIR CLIENT DETAILS
CONFIDENTIAL AND THEY WON'T
SHOW IT TO ME.
WHAT THEY HAVE DONE IS GIVEN ME
A LITTLE BIT OF INFORMATION
FROM IT, AND THEY'RE SAYING
THAT LOWRY'S PAINTING "LADY WITH
DOGS" WAS SOLD IN JULY 1972,
WHICH IS A REALLY GOOD DATE
FOR US.

Philip says THAT'S PRETTY WELL
EXACTLY THE YEAR THAT STEVE
RECALLS HIS FATHER BUYING IT.

Fiona says I KNOW, BUT THIS IS
WHERE THE PROBLEM ARISES,
BECAUSE LEFEVRE WON'T TELL US
WHO DID BUY THE PAINTING, BUT
WHAT THEY WILL TELL US IS IT
WASN'T GERALD AMES; IT WASN'T
STEVE'S DAD WHO BOUGHT IT IN
1972.

Philip says SO, COULD IT BE THAT
WHOEVER BOUGHT IT FROM LEFEVRE
THEN SOLD IT TO GERALD?

Fiona says WE'VE CLEARLY GOT TO
WORK OUT HOW GERALD GOT HOLD OF
IT, AND WHAT LEFEVRE SAY IS THE
PERSON WHO DID BUY IT, THIS
MYSTERY BUYER, WAS NOT AN ART
DEALER OR AN AGENT, SO WOULDN'T
HAVE SOLD IT ON IN THAT WAY,
WAS SOMEONE WHO WAS CONNECTED
TO THE GALLERY, AND THEREFORE
IF THEY HAD DECIDED TO SELL THE
PAINTING WOULD ALMOST CERTAINLY
HAVE SOLD IT THROUGH LEFEVRE,
SO LEFEVRE WOULD HAVE KNOWN
ABOUT IT.
BUT THEY DON'T; THEY HAVE NO
RECORD OF IT AND THEY WON'T
TELL US WHO THE MYSTERY BUYER
IS.

Bendor says I SUPPOSE THE OTHER
OPTION IS THAT IT'S STOLEN.
I HAVE COME ACROSS A COUPLE OF
STORIES IN PAPERS FROM THE
1970s ABOUT WORKS BY LOWRY
BEING STOLEN, BUT THEN I
CHECKED IT IN SOMETHING CALLED
THE ART LOSS REGISTER WHICH IS
THE FIRST PLACE YOU WOULD LOOK
FOR A RECORD OF A STOLEN
PAINTING, AND STEVE'S PICTURES
ARE NOT ON THAT.

Newspaper articles appear with headlines that read "Lowry Works worth 30,000 pounds stolen" and "Night raid on Harrison Galleries Limited."

Fiona says WE'RE OBVIOUSLY GOING
TO HAVE TO TELL STEVE ABOUT
THIS DEVELOPMENT.

Philip says YEAH, AND IT'S VERY
UNFORTUNATE BECAUSE THE ART
WORLD HATES A GAP IN A
PROVENANCE FOR A 20TH CENTURY
PICTURE LIKE THAT.
WHAT WE HAVE TO TRY AND
ESTABLISH IS STEVE'S FATHER'S
CREDIBILITY AS A BUYER OF
LOWRY.
WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS GET
CLOSER TO THE EARLY HISTORY OF
THIS PAINTING.

(music plays)

Fiona says OUR INVESTIGATION HAS
TAKEN AN UNEXPECTED TURN.
THE PROVENANCE CHAIN THAT WE'D
HOPED TO ESTABLISH FROM LOWRY
AND LEFEVRE TO STEVE'S FATHER
GERALD AMES HAS BEEN BROKEN.
IT'S THE KIND OF ANOMALY THAT
WILL MAKE LOWRY EXPERTS VERY
WARY.
SO, IT'S VITAL WE FIND EVIDENCE
THAT GERALD HAD THE PAINTINGS
IN THE EARLY '70s.
WE'RE INTERRUPTING STEVE'S
HOLIDAY TO UPDATE HIM.

Fiona and Philip chat with Steve via live chat.

Fiona says E SPOKEN TO THE
LEFEVRE GALLERY, AS YOU'D
EXPECT, TO TRY AND FIND OUT
JUST TO GET THE PAPER TRAIL OF
YOUR FATHER BUYING THE PAINTING
FROM LEFEVRE.

Stephen says RIGHT.

Fiona says SO, WHAT WE'VE GOT
NOW IS A BREAK BETWEEN THE
PAINTING BEING AT THE LEFEVRE
GALLERY AND IT ENDING UP WITH
YOUR DAD.

Stephen says RIGHT, HMM.

Philip says WHAT I THINK WE JUST
NEED TO PROVE IS THE FACT THAT
YOUR FATHER HELD THESE THINGS
SO IT'S NOT JUST A RECEIPT.
AND I REALIZE THAT MIGHT BE
IMPOSSIBLE TO GET HOLD OF, BUT
JUST SOME EVIDENCE THAT HE HAD
THEM IN THE '70s.
THAT WOULD BE VERY HELPFUL
BECAUSE IT WOULD ALLOW US TO
COMPLETE THAT PAPER TRAIL; IT
WOULD BE PROVENANCE.

Stephen says HE HAD THEM
IN THE '70s, I KNOW THAT.
I'LL HAVE TO...

Philip says INSURANCE DOCUMENTS?

Stephen says INSURANCE
DOCUMENTS MIGHT BE THE NEXT, I
DON'T KNOW.

Fiona says OR FRIENDS WHO
REMEMBER IT BEING ON THE WALL
AT THE TIME, ANY PHOTOGRAPHS OF
IT HANGING UP.
WE JUST NEED TO START LOOKING
IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS NOW,
STEVE.

Stephen says YEAH, YOU'LL
HAVE TO LEAVE IT WITH ME.

Fiona says OF COURSE.
IT'S A SETBACK, IT'S A SETBACK,
BUT WE'VE GOT OTHER AVENUES TO
PURSUE NOW.

Stephen says IT IS FUNNY
THOUGH, THAT'S THE ONE I
THOUGHT WOULD BE THE EASIEST
ONE.

Fiona says WELL, SO DID WE.

Stephen says SO DID YOU.

(music plays)

Philip says IT'S VITAL THAT
STEVE TURNS UP SOME EVIDENCE TO
SHOW THAT HIS FATHER OWNED
"LADY WITH DOGS."
THE ALARMING LACK OF PROVENANCE
ON STEVE'S OTHER PICTURES,
"CROWD SCENE" AND "DARBY AND
JOAN," MAKES IT MORE IMPORTANT
THAN EVER TO PROVE THAT THERE
IS NOTHING ABNORMAL ABOUT THE
PIGMENTS THE ARTIST USED.
I'VE RETURNED TO SEE LIBBY
SHELDON, OUR EXPERT IN THE
SCIENTIFIC ANALYSIS OF
PAINTINGS.
LIBBY, IT'S GREAT TO BE BACK.
HOW HAVE YOU BEEN GETTING ON?

Libby says I'VE TAKEN
SOME SAMPLES, AS YOU KNOW, AND
SOME VERY INTERESTING
INFORMATION HAS COME UP.

Philip says LIBBY HAS BEEN
COMPARING MICROSCOPIC FRAGMENTS
OF PAINT FROM STEVE'S PICTURES
WITH SAMPLES OF THE FIVE
WINSOR and NEWTON PIGMENTS LOWRY
IS KNOWN TO HAVE USED:

A caption reads Flake White, Ivory Black; Scarlet Vermilion, Prussian Blue, and Yellow Ochre."

Libby shows Philip the microscopic pictures on her computer.

Libby says THESE TWO
PAINTINGS HAVE THE FIVE
PIGMENTS IN THEM AND THEY'RE
VERY CLOSE TOGETHER IN TERMS OF
THE TYPES OF WHITE, THE TYPES
OF VERMILLION, AND SO ON.
WE'VE GOT A LITTLE BIT OF
PRUSSIAN BLUE THERE, AND WITH
THE WHITE IT'S EVEN MORE
EXCITING BECAUSE THE WINSOR and
NEWTON LEAD WHITE HAS THESE
VERY, VERY BRIGHT PARTICLES IN
IT AND IT'S REALLY SOMETHING
QUITE DISTINCTIVE AMONGST LEAD
WHITES.
AND HERE, YOU SEE THESE
EXTRAORDINARY JEWEL-LIKE FISH,
ALMOST FISH SHAPED, FLOATING
AROUND IN THE LEAD WHITE.

Philip says SO, IT'S NOT
CONCLUSIVE BUT AT LEAST THERE'S
NO SHOCKING REVELATIONS AT THIS
STAGE.

Libby says NO, AND VERY
ENCOURAGING, I THINK.

Philip says IT'S REASSURING TO
KNOW THAT LIBBY HAS ONLY FOUND
EVIDENCE OF THOSE EXCLUSIVE
FIVE PIGMENTS LOWRY FAVOURED IN
"CROWD SCENE" AND "LADY WITH
DOGS."
BUT HER TESTS HAVE REVEALED
SOMETHING HIGHLY UNUSUAL ABOUT
"DARBY AND JOAN," AND IT COULD
PUT ITS AUTHENTICITY IN DOUBT.

Libby says NOW, THIS
PAINTING I FOUND DISTURBINGLY
DIFFERENT.
IT'S GOT A WHITE WITH IT THAT
IS NOT LEAD WHITE.
IT'S THROUGHOUT THE PAINTING SO
THAT IT MAKES THE PAINT SEEM
VERY DIFFERENT.

Philip says SO, WE'RE DEALING
WITH A ROGUE PIGMENT.

Libby says WELL,
POSSIBLY A ROGUE PAINTING.

Philip says WITH THE FATE OF
"DARBY AND JOAN" HANGING IN THE
BALANCE, WE NEED TO FIND OUT AS
MUCH AS WE CAN ABOUT THAT
UNUSUAL WHITE PIGMENT THAT
LIBBY HAS DETECTED.
HELLO, RACHEL.

They meet Rachel Grout at a lab.

Rachel is in her early forties, with straight brown hair in a Bob cut. She wears a gray jacket and scarf.

Rachel says HELLO.

Philip says WE'VE COME TO THE
PHYSICS DEPARTMENT OF KING'S
COLLEGE LONDON TO MEET RACHEL
GROUT.
SHE'S GOING TO EXAMINE THE
PAINT SAMPLE UNDER A SCANNING
ELECTRON MICROSCOPE.

Rachel says SO, IT'S UP ON
THE SCREEN NOW, AND WE'RE ABOUT
TO ACQUIRE THE SPECTRUM, SEE
WHAT THE ELEMENTS ARE.

Philip says USING X-RAY
ANALYSIS, SHE'LL BE ABLE TO
IDENTIFY THE INDIVIDUAL
CHEMICAL ELEMENTS AND THUS
REVEAL THE TYPE OF PIGMENT
USED.
SO, THE GRAPH BENEATH WILL GIVE
US AN INDICATION OF WHAT IT IS?

Rachel says YEAH, WE'RE
GETTING SOME VERY CLEAR PEAKS
FOR ZINC COMING UP ON THE
SPECTRUM, AND IT LOOKS TO BE
FAIRLY PURE.

Philip says SO, THIS IS ZINC
WHITE?

Rachel says I THINK SO,
YEP.

Philip says LIBBY, WHAT DOES
THAT MEAN?

Libby says THIS IS
EXTRAORDINARY, ABSOLUTELY
EXTRAORDINARY.
TO HAVE ZINC IN THE UPPER
LAYER, YOU MIGHT JUST GET THAT,
BUT IN THE LOWER LAYER, THAT'S
A CRAZY THING TO USE.
IT DRIES SO SLOWLY, IT CRACKS,
IT'S TRANSLUCENT.
IT OCCURS TO ME THAT IT COULD
BE BY A FAKER.

Philip says THIS COULD BE THE
END OF THE ROAD FOR "DARBY AND
JOAN," UNLESS WE CAN FIND OUT
IF LOWRY WAS SECRETLY TRYING
OUT UNORTHODOX PAINTS.

Libby says THERE IS SOME
SUGGESTION IN THE RESEARCH THAT
I'VE BEEN DOING THAT IN THAT
PERIOD, EXACTLY IN THE '50s, HE
WAS EXPERIMENTING POSSIBLY WITH
TITANIUM WHITE, SO IF HE WAS
USING THAT, PERHAPS HE MIGHT
HAVE ALSO TRIED ZINC WHITE AT
THE SAME TIME.
[sighs]

Philip says THERE'S A THOUGHT.
THE PRESENCE OF ZINC WHITE
PAINT IN "DARBY AND JOAN" POSES
A REAL CONUNDRUM.
EITHER THE PAINTING IS A FAKE
OR LOWRY LIED ABOUT THE FACT
THAT HE ONLY EVER USED FIVE
COLOURS.
COULD THERE BE MORE TO THIS
SIMPLE MAN THAN HE LED US TO
BELIEVE?
WHAT WE'VE COME ACROSS TODAY IS
NOT NECESSARILY UNHELPFUL.
LOWRY COULD BE ECONOMICAL WITH
THE TRUTH: HE WOULD TELL HIS
INTERVIEWERS SOMETIMES WHAT HE
WANTED THEM TO HEAR, OR WHAT
THEY WANTED TO HEAR.
AND THERE'S ALSO SOMETHING
ABOUT THE CHARACTER PROFILE OF
LOWRY WHICH FITS WITH SOMEONE
NOT WISHING TO FESS UP TO USING
COMPLEX PIGMENTS.
OUR ONLY HOPE IS THAT WE CAN WE
PROVE THAT LOWRY WAS
EXPERIMENTING WITH A RANGE OF
PIGMENTS WHEN HE PAINTED "DARBY
AND JOAN," WHICH IS SIGNED AND
DATED 1957.
BUT HOW?
BENDOR HAS BEGUN TO DIG DEEPER,
BUT WITH FRUSTRATINGLY LITTLE
SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH DONE ON
LOWRY'S PAINTINGS HE'S HAVING
TO LOOK FOR EVIDENCE IN LESS
CONVENTIONAL PLACES.
HE'S BEEN TRAWLING THROUGH
PHOTOGRAPHS OF LOWRY AT WORK
AND HAS A LEAD ON AN IMAGE FROM
1957, PRECISELY WHEN WE BELIEVE
HE PAINTED "DARBY AND JOAN."

On a projection screen, Bendor shows Fiona and Philip a picture of Larry in his studio.

Bendor says WE'VE JUST RECEIVED
THIS LOVELY PHOTOGRAPH OF LOWRY
IN HIS STUDIO, WHICH WAS TAKEN
IN 1957.
IT'S A VERY RARE COLOUR
PHOTOGRAPH, AND 1957 IS
OBVIOUSLY THE DATE OF "DARBY AND
JOAN."
AND THERE'S LOTS OF PAINT
MATERIALS FOR US TO HAVE A LOOK
AT.

Fiona says YEAH, ARE THOSE TUBES
ON THE TABLE?

Bendor says THEY ARE WINSOR and
NEWTON PAINTS.
IF WE GO A LITTLE BIT CLOSER,
WE CAN SEE...

Fiona says TITANIUM WHITE!

Philip says OH, BRILLIANT, WE'VE
OUTED HIM.

Bendor says SO, WE'VE CAUGHT HIM
RED-HANDED OR, IF YOU LIKE,
WHITE-HANDED, TELLING LITTLE
PORKIES ABOUT THE PAINT THAT HE
WAS USING.
WHEN HE SAYS, I ONLY EVER USE
LEAD WHITE OR FLAKE WHITE,
THERE'S FIVE, FOUR BOXES OF
TITANIUM WHITE IN HIS STUDIO.

Fiona says CAUGHT OUT IN HIS OWN
STUDIO.

Bendor says AND IF WE HAVE A
LITTLE LOOK AROUND THIS STUDIO,
WE CAN ZOOM IN ON THIS BOX
HERE.
IT'S A LARGE BOX BUT IT'S
UPSIDE DOWN; THERE'S A PAINT
LABEL THERE, WHICH TELLS US
WHAT IT IS.
IF I FLIP IT UPSIDE DOWN AND WE
CAN ZOOM IN A BIT, I DON'T KNOW
IF YOU CAN...

Fiona says ZINC WHITE!
THAT SAYS ZINC WHITE, DOESN'T
IT?

Bendor says IT LOOKS LIKE ZINC
WHITE; IT'S CERTAINLY WHITE.

Philip says HE WAS AWASH WITH
THE STUFF.

Bendor says I THINK WE COULD
PROBABLY JUST FOCUS ON THIS A
LITTLE BIT MORE TO BE
ABSOLUTELY SURE THAT WE'RE
GETTING THIS RIGHT BECAUSE THIS
IS QUITE GROUND-BREAKING STUFF.
WE'RE OUTING LOWRY AND SAYING
THAT HE DIDN'T USE THE PIGMENTS
HE ONLY SAID HE USED.
NOW, I HAVE COPIES OF A WINSOR
and NEWTON CATALOGUE FROM THE
PERIOD, AND IF YOU HAVE A LOOK
AT THE BOTTOM THERE, THERE'S
REALLY NOT MANY OPTIONS.
IF YOU LOOK AT ALL THE NAMES OF
THE WHITE, IT REALLY HAS TO BE
ZINC WHITE BECAUSE, FOR
EXAMPLE, LEAD WHITE, FLAKE
WHITE IS ACCOMPANIED BY
A NUMBER, NUMBER 1 OR 2.
AND WE SEE NO NUMBER ON THE
END OF OUR BOX, AND THERE'S
VARIOUS OTHER WHITES THERE
WHICH HAVE MUCH LONGER NAMES;
WHAT HAVE WE GOT?

Fiona says TITANIUM WHITE,
PERMANENT WHITE, CREMNITZ
WHITE, AND THEY'RE ALL TOO
LONG, AREN'T THEY?

Philip says IT'S A LITTLE ZINC
WORD.

Fiona says BUT ALSO, THE MORE I
LOOK AT IT - I DON'T THINK THIS
IS JUST WISHFUL THINKING - THAT
ABSOLUTELY LOOKS LIKE A Z.

Bendor says I THINK IT MUST BE.

Fiona says THAT'S BRILLIANT!

Philip says LOWRY WAS A CLOSET
ZINC WHITE USER.

Bendor says HE DEFINITELY WAS,
YES, WE'VE OUTED HIM.
I WONDER WHAT HE WOULD HAVE
MADE OF THIS CONVERSATION.

Fiona says I DON'T THINK HE'D
HAVE BEEN TOO CHUFFED,
ACTUALLY; I THINK HE LIKED TO
KEEP HIS SECRETS.

(music plays)

Fiona says FINDING PROOF THAT LOWRY USED
THE PIGMENT FOUND IN "DARBY AND
JOAN" IS A RELIEF, BUT IT WILL
STILL TAKE A LEAP OF FAITH FOR
A LOWRY EXPERT TO ACCEPT IT AS
A GENUINE WORK.
WE'VE GOT ONE LAST THROW OF THE
DICE IN OUR SEARCH FOR EVIDENCE
IN THE PAINTING'S FAVOUR.
LOWRY WAS AT THE HEIGHT OF HIS
FAME IN 1957, AND IT WASN'T
JUST PHOTOGRAPHERS WHO WERE
BEING ADMITTED TO HIS STUDIO.

Fiona and Stephen sit at a movie theatre to see a documentary on Lowry.

The narrator says THIS IS A FILM
ABOUT A MAN WHO BECAME AN
ARTIST BECAUSE HE MISSED A
TRAIN.
THIS HAPPENED MANY YEARS AGO.
HE LEFT THE STATION IN A
MANCHESTER SUBURB AND STARTED
TO WALK UP THE BOLTON ROAD
WONDERING WHAT TO DO.

Fiona says A BBC TV CREW SHOT
A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT HIS LIFE
THAT VERY YEAR, AND STEVE
AND I HAVE COME TO A CINEMA
IN MANCHESTER TO WATCH IT
ON THE ORIGINAL REELS.

The narrator says WHAT WAS THERE IN
THESE SOOTY STREETS TO MAKE
LOWRY WISH TO SPEND HIS LIFE
AMONGST THEM PAINTING A WORLD
IN WHICH OTHER PEOPLE COULD SEE
NO BEAUTY?

Fiona says COULD THERE BE
ANYTHING IN THIS SNAPSHOT OF
LOWRY'S LIFE TO HELP STEVE'S
CAUSE?

The narrator says NOW, AS LOWRY
BEGINS AND AS TIME GOES BY, HE
TELLS US HOW HE WORKS.

L.S. Lowry says I START ON AN
EMPTY CANVAS AND PREFER TO PAINT
FROM MY MIND'S EYE.
AND I SUGGEST SOMETHING, CALL
IT A CHIMNEY OR CHURCH OR
ANYTHING ELSE, GOING ALONG
SLOWLY AND ADDING THINGS.
AND IN A STRANGE SORT OF A WAY,
IT SEEMS TO COME.

Fiona says AS WE WATCH LOWRY AT
WORK, STEVE GLIMPSES SOMETHING
EXTRAORDINARY.

Stephen says LOOK AT THOSE,
THERE, THERE THEY ARE!
LOOK, THAT'S IT, THAT'S THEM!

Fiona says THERE IN LOWRY'S
STUDIO, SITTING ON THE
MANTELPIECE: "DARBY AND JOAN."

Stephen says THAT WAS THEM,
OF ONE OF DAD'S -

Fiona says IT CERTAINLY LOOKED
LIKE THEM.
HOLD YOUR HORSES JUST FOR A
MINUTE, IT CERTAINLY LOOKED
LIKE THEM.

Stephen says THAT WAS IT!
I THINK IT WAS THEM.
THERE THEY ARE AGAIN, THAT'S
THE PAINTING WITHOUT A DOUBT.
YOU KNOW, I MEAN THAT'S...
THERE IT IS.

Fiona says OH, MY GOD!

Stephen says THAT'S IT.
WEIRD SEEING IT THERE.

Fiona says HAS YOUR ONE GOT A
SIGNATURE ON THE FRONT?

Stephen says YEAH, I THINK
SO.

Fiona says AND THIS ONE HASN'T,
BUT, OF COURSE, HE COULD HAVE
DONE THAT AFTERWARDS.

Stephen says IT'S NOT
FINISHED, THOUGH.

Fiona says WOW.
HERE IS...
IF IT'S NOT YOUR PAINTING, IT'S
VERY LIKE YOUR PAINTING.
IN LOWRY'S STUDIO.

Stephen says AMAZING THAT
IT'S ON THE FILM.
ABSOLUTELY STROKE OF LUCK,
REALLY.

(music plays)

Fiona says FINDING "DARBY AND
JOAN" IN LOWRY'S VERY STUDIO IS
AN INCREDIBLE BREAKTHROUGH, BUT
I WANT TO BE SURE THERE'S NO
DOUBT THAT STEVE'S PICTURE IS
ONE AND THE SAME PAINTING.
WE NEED TO COMPARE A STILL
FRAME FROM THE FILM WITH
STEVE'S PICTURE.
WHAT WE'VE DONE IS HAD A
HIGH-RESOLUTION SCAN MADE OF
THAT PAINTING AND WE'RE TRYING
TO COMPARE THE HIGH-RES SCAN OF
THIS...
SO, THIS IS FROM LOWRY'S STUDIO
AND THIS IS STEVE'S PICTURE.
YOU CAN SEE SOME SIMILARITIES,
SO LOOK AT THE BOTTOM OF
DARBY'S FOOT THERE, THAT LITTLE
WHITE PATCH, AND THERE IT IS ON
STEVE'S PICTURE THERE.
THERE'S A KIND OF CURL OF PAINT
ROUND HERE - NOT THAT DISTINCT
IN THIS SCAN, MUCH CLEARER HERE
IN STEVE'S PICTURE, LOOK AT
THAT.
ONE THING THAT IS DIFFERENT,
STEVE'S PICTURE HAS A BLACK
LINE HERE, COMING DOWN FROM
DARBY'S WALKING STICK HERE;
THAT'S NOT IN THE 1957 STUDIO
PICTURE.
BUT HAVING LOOKED AT STEVE'S
PICTURE, THAT'S A CRACK; THAT'S
JUST A CRACK IN THE PANEL, SO
THERE'S NOTHING SURPRISING
ABOUT THAT.
AND WHAT YOU'VE GOT TO REMEMBER
HERE IS THE TECHNOLOGY.
I MEAN, THIS IS A
HIGH-RESOLUTION SCAN WHICH IS
WHAT YOU'D NEED IN ORDER TO BE
ABLE TO RECREATE ALL THE
IDIOSYNCRASIES OF THIS PAINTING
IN THIS ONE.
AND, OF COURSE, FROM 1957 TO
THE 1970s THAT DIDN'T EXIST, SO
HOW COULD SOMEONE HAVE COPIED
IT IN THIS LEVEL OF DETAIL?
IT'S JUST NOT POSSIBLE.

Philip says I COULDN'T AGREE
MORE, AND ALSO, THAT'S THE
TECHNICAL SIMILARITIES BUT
THERE'S ALSO AN ARTISTIC ONE,
A STYLISTIC ONE.
THOSE FACIAL CHARACTERISTICS,
IT'S ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE FOR A
COPYIST OR FOR A FORGER TO
PERFECTLY REPLICATE FEATURES,
AND BOTH PORTRAITS HAVE THE
SAME LOOK OF COMICAL BLANDNESS.

(music plays)

Philip says WE'RE FEELING INCREASINGLY
CONFIDENT THAT "DARBY AND JOAN."
A REAL CHANCE THAT WILL HELP
PROVE THAT STEVE'S THIRD
PICTURE, "CROWD SCENE," IS ALSO
AUTHENTIC.
WE'VE HAD X-RAYS MADE OF ALL
THREE PAINTINGS, AND THEY
REVEAL REMARKABLE SIMILARITIES
IN THE BRUSHSTROKES.
NOW, NOTICE WITH THE LADY AND
THE DOGS ON THE LEFT, THOSE
EXCITABLE, VIGOROUS STROKES IN
THE BACKGROUND, THEY ARE ALMOST
IDENTICAL IN THE WHOLE WAY
THEY'RE APPLIED TO THE CROWD
SCENE ON THE RIGHT.
BUT THEN, WHEN YOU LOOK MORE
CLOSELY, YOU CAN SEE THAT THERE
ARE LITTLE BLACK, JAGGED,
CUT-OUT AREAS, POSSIBLY TO MARK
THE EDGE OF A FIGURE, BUT THEY
DO SHOW THE SAME TEMPERAMENT,
THE SAME APPROACH.
NOW, GIVEN THAT WE THINK ONE IS
BY LOWRY, WHY SHOULDN'T THE
OTHER BE TOO?

Bendor says SEEMS LIKE THE FIRST
BIT OF GOOD NEWS WE'VE HAD ON
THE "CROWD SCENE."

(music plays)

Philip says THE X-RAYS OFFER A
COMPELLING CASE THAT "LADY WITH
DOGS" AND "CROWD SCENE" WERE
INDEED PAINTED BY L.S.
LOWRY,
AND LIBBY SHELDON THINKS
THERE MAY BE EVEN MORE EVIDENCE
TO SUPPORT THE THEORY.

Libby says SO, WHAT I'M
LOOKING AT HERE IS THE
SIGNATURE ON "LADY WITH DOGS,"
WHICH IS IN BIRO.
AND SEEING IT ON THE PAINT
HERE, YOU CAN SEE HOW SMOOTH IT
IS AND WHAT A NICE LINE, BUT HE
DIDN'T ONLY USE IT AS A
SIGNATURE.
AND VERY INTERESTINGLY ON THIS
PAINTING WE CAN SEE THAT HE'S
USED IT IN AND AROUND THE
FIGURES.
I'LL JUST BRING THAT INTO
FOCUS.

Philip says FASCINATING; BIRO ON
THE SIGNATURE, BIRO IN THE
FIGURE.
AND IS THERE ANYTHING YOU COULD
TELL ME ABOUT THE BIRO ITSELF?

Libby says IT HAS THESE
VERY INTERESTING EDGES TO IT,
WHICH I THINK WAS EARLY
BALLPOINT PENS.

Philip says EARLY BALLPOINT,
LOVELY, LOVELY TOUCH.

Libby says SO, IT WOULD
BE A VERY, VERY CLEVER FAKER TO
NOTICE THAT.

Philip says NOW, THAT'S ANOTHER
LINK BETWEEN THESE TWO
PICTURES, ONE PICTURE WHICH WE
THINK HAS A VERY HIGH CHANCE OF
BEING A LOWRY, AND THE OTHER
NOW HAS THE SAME CHARACTERISTIC
WITH THE USE OF BIRO.
WE'RE GETTING CLOSER.

Libby says YES.

(music plays)

Fiona says WITH EVIDENCE
MOUNTING IN FAVOUR OF STEVE'S
PICTURES, IT'S MORE IMPORTANT
THAN EVER TO SHOW THAT HIS
FATHER ACTUALLY OWNED THEM.
WITH NO RECEIPTS TO BACK UP ANY
OF THE SALES, IS THERE ANYTHING
TO PROVE THAT GERALD AMES
ACQUIRED THESE PICTURES IN THE
EARLY '70s?
I'VE BEEN BACK TO GERALD'S
FLAT, ON THE HUNT FOR CLUES,
AND FINALLY FOUND SOMETHING
REASSURING: AN ESTATE AGENT'S
BROCHURE FROM 25 YEARS AGO,
WITH ALL THREE PAINTINGS
CLEARLY ON DISPLAY IN GERALD'S
LIVING ROOM.
STEVE'S ALSO BEEN BUSY, AND
HE'S TURNED UP INSURANCE
DOCUMENTS LISTING THE PAINTINGS
IN THE EARLY '80s.
HE'S EVEN CONTACTED HIS
FATHER'S FRIENDS AND FORMER
COLLEAGUES IN THE SEARCH FOR
PROOF, AND HE'S RECEIVED A
LETTER FROM GERALD'S FORMER
SECRETARY STATING THAT SHE
CLEARLY REMEMBERS SEEING THE
PICTURES ON THE WALL IN HIS
HOUSE WHEN SHE VISITED IN THE
MID-'70s.
BUT WILL EVERYTHING WE'VE DONE
BE ENOUGH TO CONVINCE THE ART
MARKET TO ACCEPT STEVE'S
PICTURES AS GENUINE WORKS BY
L.S. LOWRY?

(music plays)

Philip says WE'VE CONVENED OUR
OWN UNIQUE PANEL OF FOUR OF THE
COUNTRY'S MOST PROMINENT LOWRY
EXPERTS TO OFFER THE FINAL
JUDGMENT: MARTIN SUMMERS,
CHAIRMAN OF THE LEFEVRE GALLERY
IN THE 1960s AND '70s; JAMES
RAWLIN, FORMER HEAD OF MODERN
ART AT SOTHEBY'S; ROBIN LIGHT,
CHAIRMAN OF THE CRANE KALMAN
GALLERY; AND JONATHAN HORWICH,
OF BONHAMS AUCTIONEERS, A WORLD
AUTHORITY ON LOWRY.
WOULD HE BE PREPARED TO OFFER
STEVE'S PICTURES FOR SALE AT
AUCTION AS GENUINE WORKS?
THERE IS OVER £200,000 RESTING
ON THE OPINION OF THESE FOUR
MEN.
AND THEY ALSO HOLD IN THEIR
HANDS THE REPUTATION OF STEVE'S
FATHER, GERALD AMES.
WILL THEY BELIEVE THAT THESE
ARE THREE GENUINE PAINTINGS
BOUGHT BY A MAN WITH A SHREWD
EYE FOR ENGLISH ART?
OR ARE THE PICTURES INSTEAD
INGENIOUS FAKES BOUGHT BY YET
ANOTHER VICTIM OF THE LOWRY
FORGERS?
PERSONALLY, FOR WHAT IT'S
WORTH, I THINK THESE PAINTINGS
ARE BY LOWRY.
STYLISTICALLY, FORENSICALLY,
WE'VE REALLY GOT TO KNOW THE
ARTIST AND YOU CAN SEE IN THESE
PAINTINGS ALL THE
CHARACTERISTICS.
BUT WE DON'T HAVE AN UNBROKEN
PROVENANCE; WE CAN'T TAKE THESE
PICTURES BACK TO THE VERY DAY
THAT LOWRY PAINTED THEM, IF HE
DID, AND THESE FOUR EXPERTS IN
THE ROOM BEHIND ME ARE GOING TO
HAVE TO COME TO A CONCLUSION ON
THE BASIS OF PHYSICAL EVIDENCE
AND THE EVIDENCE OF THEIR EYES.
NOW, WE DON'T NORMALLY DO IT
LIKE THAT WITH LOWRY.
IT REALLY COULD GO EITHER WAY
FOR STEVE.

The four experts have a meeting as Steve waits outside the meeting room.

(music plays)

Fiona says WHEN WE STARTED
LOOKING AT THESE THREE
PAINTINGS, I'D HOPED - BECAUSE
LOWRY'S OBVIOUSLY A MUCH MORE
MODERN PAINTER THAN MANY WE'VE
LOOKED AT IN THE PAST - THAT
FINDING A PROVENANCE TRAIL
WOULD BE JUST A LITTLE BIT MORE
STRAIGHTFORWARD.
HOW WRONG I WAS, BECAUSE THAT
HAS PROVED INFURIATINGLY
DIFFICULT.
BUT THE PHYSICAL EVIDENCE WE'VE
FOUND, I HAVE TO SAY - I THINK,
ANYWAY - IS INCREDIBLY
CONVINCING, PARTICULARLY WITH
"DARBY AND JOAN."
I CANNOT THINK OF ANY OTHER WAY
THAT STEVE'S PAINTING COULD BE
ANYTHING OTHER THAN GENUINE; IT
HAS TO BE, WHEN WE COMPARE IT
TO THE PAINTING THAT WE SAW IN
LOWRY'S STUDIO.
I JUST CANNOT SEE HOW THAT CAN
BE FAKE.
OBVIOUSLY, I'M NOT MAKING THE
DECISION; OUR COMMITTEE IS,
BUT...
THEY'VE GOT TO BE RIGHT; I
REALLY THINK THEY'VE GOT TO BE
RIGHT.
AFTER SEVERAL HOURS OF
DELIBERATION, OUR LOWRY EXPERTS
ARE READY TO DELIVER THEIR
VERDICT.

Philip says SO, JONATHAN,
SPEAKING ON BEHALF OF THE
PANEL, HAVE YOU REACHED A
VERDICT?

Jonathan is in his fifties, with short receding gray hair and a beard. He wears a black suit, pale blue shirt and printed tie.

Jonathan says YES, WE
HAVE.

Philip says STARTING WITH THE
"LADY WITH DOGS," WHAT IS
YOUR CONCLUSION?

Jonathan says PHILIP, WE
DISCUSSED THIS ONE.
IT IS THE ONE WITH THE MOST
EVIDENCE BEHIND IT.
IT'S PERHAPS ONE OF OUR
FAVOURITES; WE ARE ALL
UNANIMOUS THAT WE THINK THIS BY
LOWRY.

Fiona says GREAT, THAT'S ONE.
AND "DARBY AND JOAN," WHAT WAS
YOUR CONCLUSION ABOUT THIS ONE?

Jonathan says WE
DELIBERATED; WE LIKE THE
PICTURE VERY MUCH.
IT'S A LITTLE UNUSUAL IN TERMS
OF THE FORMAT AND THE SUPPORT
IT'S ON, BUT WE ARE ALL AGREED
FINALLY THAT THIS WAS A WORK BY
L.S. LOWRY.

Fiona says FANTASTIC, OH, THAT'S
BRILLIANT NEWS.
AND WHAT DID YOU MAKE OF THE
FACT THAT WE FOUND IT IN THAT
DOCUMENTARY ABOUT LOWRY IN HIS
STUDIO?
WHEN WE SAW THAT, WE COULDN'T
BELIEVE IT, COULD WE, STEVE?

Stephen says NO.

Jonathan says NO, IT'S
WHAT YOU MIGHT CALL THE SLAM
DUNK, ISN'T IT, REALLY, IN
TERMS OF SEEING IT THERE AS
HE'S SITTING THERE IN HIS OWN
LIVING ROOM PAINTING IT; THERE
IT IS.
SO, IT JUST ADDS TO OUR BELIEF
THAT IT'S A PERFECTLY, 100
PERCENT GENUINE WORK.

Philip says AND JUST TO BE
CLEAR, SPEAKING AS A
PROFESSIONAL AUCTIONEER, THAT
IS HOW YOU WOULD CATALOGUE IT?

Jonathan says ABSOLUTELY, I HAVE NO DOUBT
WHATSOEVER.

Philip says AND NOW, LET'S MOVE
ONTO THE "CROWD SCENE."

Jonathan says THIS IS
THE ONE THAT WE'VE DELIBERATED
OVER FOR LONGER AND DISCUSSED
BETWEEN US PERHAPS IN A MORE
ROBUST WAY THAN THE OTHER TWO,
I THINK.
NOT THAT IT'S CONTENTIOUS, BUT
THERE'S LESS TO SAY, SO IT'S
WHAT WE THINK OF IT, IN SEEING
IT, WHERE IT'S BEEN FOR THE
LAST FEW YEARS.
IT'S TESTED US, BUT ON BALANCE
WE FEEL THAT AGAIN, LIKE THE
OTHER TWO, IT IS 100 PERCENT
GENUINE.

[laughing]

Fiona says HO, HO!

Philip says WE HAVE A TRIO.

Stephen says A TRIO.

Fiona says THAT'S JUST AMAZING
NEWS.
STEVE, WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Stephen says I'M
ABSOLUTELY...
I'M ABSOLUTELY THRILLED AND
DELIGHTED FOR MY FATHER,
REALLY, FOR DAD.

Fiona says IT'S A TREMENDOUS
VINDICATION OF GERALD AMES, A
SELF-MADE MAN WITH A PASSION
FOR AN ARTIST WHOSE WORK
CAPTURED THE WORLD HE'D GROWN
UP IN.
HOW HE ACQUIRED THE PICTURES
STILL REMAINS A MYSTERY.
BUT WE'VE DONE ENOUGH TO PROVE
THAT THEY ARE THE REAL THING.

Stephen says I'M ABSOLUTELY
DELIGHTED, IS THE SHORT, SIMPLE
ANSWER.

Philip says AND YOUR FATHER TOO.

Stephen says YEAH, HE WOULD
BE DELIGHTED IF HE COULD SEE.

Fiona says CAN I ASK, WAS YOUR
VERDICT UNANIMOUS?

Jonathan says YES, IT
WAS A UNANIMOUS VOTE; WE ALL
AGREED.

(music plays)

Fiona says BUT JUST AS
IMPORTANTLY, OUR INVESTIGATION
HAS GIVEN US AN UNEXPECTED
GLIMPSE BEHIND LOWRY'S
CAREFULLY CULTIVATED PERSONA OF
THE SIMPLE MAN TO REVEAL AN
ALTOGETHER MORE COMPLEX AND
INTRIGUING ARTIST.

Philip says WASN'T IT GOOD
SEEING STEVE JUST NOW SO
FLUSHED WITH EXCITEMENT?
BUT IT'S NOT JUST STEVE THAT
CAN AFFORD TO BE EXCITED,
BECAUSE I FEEL WE'VE MADE REAL
PROGRESS.
WE NOW KNOW SO MUCH MORE ABOUT
LOWRY.

Fiona says ALSO, LOWRY LIKED TO
CREATE MYTHS AROUND HIMSELF.
TAKE THE STORY ABOUT THE FIVE
PIGMENTS, HE ONLY USES FIVE
PIGMENTS, AND THAT'S REPRODUCED
IN MOST OF THE LITERATURE ABOUT
LOWRY.
WE NOW KNOW THAT ISN'T TRUE;
WE'VE OUTED HIM.
AND WE'VE TAKEN CONNOISSEURSHIP
OF LOWRY A SIGNIFICANT STEP
FURTHER, SO IT'S NOT JUST A
VICTORY, A SIGNIFICANT VICTORY
FOR STEPHEN, BUT ACTUALLY IT'S
A VICTORY FOR LOWRY AS WELL.

(music plays)

Fiona says PERHAPS IT'S TIME TO TAKE A
FRESH LOOK AT L.S. LOWRY,
THE ARTIST WHO CAPTURED
THE DRAMA OF A CROWDED NORTHERN
STREET, THE QUIRKY CHARACTERS
OF AN OLD COUPLE, AND THE
ENIGMATIC STYLISHNESS OF A LADY
OUT WALKING HER DOGS.
IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE AN
UNDISCOVERED MASTERPIECE, WE'D
LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU AT:

A caption reads "bbc.co.uk/fakeorfortune."

(theme music plays)

The end credits roll against the grainy orange surface of a painting.

Presented by Fiona Bruce and Philip Mould.

Specialist Research, Doctor Bendor Grosvenor.

Executive Producer, Simon Shaw.

Series Producer, Robert Murphy.

Produced and directed by Rachel Jardine.

All3Media International.

B.B.C. Arts Productions Bristol - BBC 2015.