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 THIS EPISODE COULD A
PAINTING HANGING IN A WELSH
CASTLE BE A WORK BY THE
IMPRESSIONIST MASTER PIERRE
AUGUSTE RENOIR?
TWO POWERFUL ART HOUSES CAN'T
AGREE.
THE RIVALRY BETWEEN THE TWO
GREAT HOUSES IS NOW OUT IN THE
OPEN AND, I HAVE TO SAY, IT'S
UGLY.
OUR INVESTIGATION TAKES US TO
AN IMPRESSIONIST PLAYGROUND ON
THE BANKS OF THE RIVER SEINE.

On a boat, Philip says WE COULD BE ADDING
ANOTHER PARAGRAPH TO ART
HISTORY.

Fiona says TO GIVERNY IN SEARCH
OF CLAUDE MONET'S ART
COLLECTION.

At Claude Monet’s house, Fiona says WE NEED CONCRETE EVIDENCE THAT
IT WAS HERE SOMEWHERE IN THIS
HOUSE.
AND TO BERLIN TO SEE WHAT
STATE-OF-THE-ART SCIENCE CAN
REVEAL.
BUT WILL WE FIND ENOUGH
EVIDENCE TO CONVINCE THE ART
WORLD'S TOUGHEST JUDGES THIS
PAINTING IS GENUINE?

Nicky and Fiona go through documents at an archive.

Nicky is in her forties, with shoulder length straight blond hair. She wears glasses, a white blouse, beige blazer and a white scarf.

Nicky says I CAN'T COPE
WITH THIS ROLLER COASTER.

(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.

Fiona and Philip drive towards a castle.

Fiona says IN THIS INVESTIGATION
WE'RE ON OUR WAY TO
PEMBROKESHIRE.
WE'VE RECEIVED A CALL FOR HELP
FROM THE OWNERS OF A PAINTING
WITH A MYSTERIOUS PAST.
IT HANGS IN ONE OF THE FINEST
STATELY HOMES IN WALES.
PICTON CASTLE.
BUILT AT THE END OF THE 13th
CENTURY IT WAS HOME TO THE
PHILIPPS' FAMILY FOR 800 YEARS.
NOW THE CASTLE IS OPEN TO THE
PUBLIC, AND IT'S MAINTAINED BY
A CHARITABLE TRUST.
NICKY PHILIPPS IS ONE OF THE
TRUSTEES.

Philip says GREAT TO SEE YOU,
NICKY.

Fiona says HI, HOW ARE YOU
DOING?
SHE'S AN ARTIST IN HER OWN
RIGHT, FAMED FOR HER OFFICIAL
PORTRAITS OF THE ROYAL FAMILY.
I FIRST MET NICKY WHEN I
FOLLOWED HER AT WORK PAINTING
WAR HERO SIMON WESTON AFTER BBC
VIEWERS HAD VOTED HIM THE
PUBLIC FIGURE MOST DESERVING TO
GRACE THE WALLS OF THE NATIONAL
PORTRAIT GALLERY.

Clips show Nicky painting the portrait and revealing it to the public with the caption "The People’s Portrait. BBC One 2014."

[applause]
SOME YEARS AGO NICKY WAS
PAINTING A PORTRAIT OF HER LATE
AUNT GWEN WHEN SHE WAS TOLD A
TANTALIZING STORY.
HOW A PICTURE CAME INTO THE
FAMILY COLLECTION THAT WAS SAID
TO BE BY ONE OF THE WORLD'S
MOST CELEBRATED ARTISTS.
PIERRE AUGUSTE RENOIR.

A sailing scene in pastel colours appears on the wall.

Philip says WOW, QUITE A FLASH
OF COLOUR IN HERE, ISN'T IT?

Fiona says IT'S LOVELY.
JUST TAKE US BACK OVER HOW IT
CAME INTO THE FAMILY.

Nicky says IT WAS BOUGHT BY MY
GREAT GRANDFATHER, LORD MILFORD
AND HE WAS VERY INTERESTED IN
THE IMPRESSIONISTS, AND HE
BOUGHT THIS PICTURE ALONG WITH
A FAIR FEW OTHERS.
AND I WAS TOLD BY MY GREAT
AUNT GWEN THAT SHE WAS TAKEN
TO MONET'S STUDIO BY HER PARENTS
WHERE THEY WERE SOLD IT AS A
RENOIR BECAUSE, AS I THINK
IS WELL DOCUMENTED, MONET AND
RENOIR USED TO PAINT TOGETHER
AND THEN AT THE END OF THE DAY
THEY WOULD SOMETIMES SWAP
THEIR PICTURES.

Fiona says WHO DID THEY ACTUALLY
BUY IT FROM IN THE STUDIO?

Nicky says I'M TOLD THAT BLANCHE
MONET WAS THERE AT THE TIME.
I DON'T KNOW WHETHER...

Fiona says MONET'S STEPDAUGHTER.

Nicky says MONET'S STEPDAUGHTER
I DON'T KNOW WHETHER THEY
ACTUALLY BOUGHT IT THERE AND
THEN, OR WHETHER IT WENT
SUBSEQUENTLY THROUGH A DEALER.
I'M NOT SURE.

Philip says I CAN SEE WHY THIS
PAINTING WOULD HAVE CAUGHT SIR
LAURENCE'S EYE.
IT'S AN ENGAGING SCENE, BUT IS
IT A GENUINE RENOIR?

A series of Renoir paintings appear.

Philip says HE'S ONE OF THE WORLD'S MOST
FAMOUS ARTISTS WHOSE WORKS CAN
SELL FOR MILLIONS OF POUNDS.
BORN IN 1841 RENOIR BECAME ONE
OF THE LEADING LIGHTS OF THE
IMPRESSIONIST MOVEMENT.
HE SAID HE NEVER WENT A DAY
WITHOUT PAINTING AND, THROUGH
A CAREER SPANNING SIX DECADES,
HE CREATED OVER 4,000 CANVASES.
BUT IS THIS PAINTING ONE OF
THEM?
NOT ALL EXPERTS HAVE BEEN
CONVINCED IT'S AUTHENTIC.
SO HOW DID IT FIRST COME TO
BE DOUBTED?

Nicky says WHEN THE ROOF OF
THIS PLACE NEEDED DOING IN THE
'60s, THERE WAS A SALE OF THE
OTHER IMPRESSIONISTS THAT WERE
IN HERE.
THERE WAS A MONET, AND A
SISLEY AND A PISSARRO, AND THIS
ONE HAD TO BE LEFT OUT BECAUSE
IT'S NOT SIGNED.

Philip says SO THIS ONE TURNED
OUT TO BE LAME DUCK OF THE
GROUP, AND FOR 50 YEARS OR
MORE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED TO BE
A WRONG PICTURE, A PROBLEMATIC
PICTURE.

Nicky says NOT FOR THE FAMILY
BECAUSE WE ALL KNOW THE STORY.

Fiona says WHAT WOULD THIS BE
WORTH IF IT WAS BY RENOIR,
PHILIP?

Philip says WELL, IF IT COULD
BE PROVED CONCLUSIVELY...
200,000-300,000?

Nicky says YES, WELL THAT WOULD
HELP HUGELY.

Fiona says WITH THE ROOF AND
ALL THE OTHER BITS THAT ARE
FALLING DOWN, FALLING OFF.

Nicky says YES, YES.

Fiona says THERE'S A LOT AT
STAKE HERE.
PICTON CASTLE MAY LOOK
MAGNIFICENT, BUT BENEATH THE
SURFACE THE CRACKS ARE SHOWING
AND FUNDS ARE NEEDED TO
MAINTAIN THE BUILDING.
SO IMAGINE NICKY'S DELIGHT WHEN
A LEADING ART WORLD AUTHORITY,
THE BERNHEIM-JEUNE GALLERY
INCLUDED THE PAINTING AS
GENUINE IN A RECENTLY PUBLISHED
CATALOGUE LISTING ALL OF
RENOIR'S WORKS.
BUT THERE'S A PROBLEM.
ANOTHER POWERFUL ART WORLD
AUTHORITY DOESN'T AGREE THIS IS
BY RENOIR.

The painting is listed in the catalogue under the name "La Seine à Argenteuil."

Nicky says IT WAS SENT LAST
YEAR TO CHRISTIE'S, AND THEY
SAID THAT IT WAS GOING TO HAVE
TO GO PAST THE WILDENSTEIN
INSTITUTE.
AND THEY'RE DOING THEIR OWN
CATALOGUE RAISONNE, AND THEY
SIMPLY SAID THEY DIDN'T WANT TO
INCLUDE IT.
AND I'M TOLD THE AUCTION HOUSES
WILL GO WITH THE WILDENSTEIN
DECISION.

Philip says I MEAN IT'S AN
EXTRAORDINARY STATE OF AFFAIRS
BECAUSE A PICTURE THAT SHOULD
BE WORTH 200,000-300,000 POUNDS NOW
CAN'T BE SOLD AS A RENOIR
DESPITE THE FACT THAT IT'S IN
A CATALOGUE RAISONNE OF 2007
BECAUSE ANOTHER PUBLISHING
HOUSE, AN AUTHORITY, SAY IT'S
NOT.

Fiona says SO THE INVESTIGATION
BEGINS.
ONE OF THE PROBLEMS IS THERE'S
NO DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE TO BACK
UP AUNT GWEN'S STORY THAT THE
PICTURE IS A GENUINE RENOIR.
A TRAWL THROUGH THE CASTLE
ARCHIVES IS NOT PROVING
HELPFUL.
WELL THIS IS A CHRISTIE'S
INVENTORY OF PICTON CASTLE FROM
1995, AND IT MENTIONS THE
PAINTING.
ATTRIBUTED TO AUGUSTE RENOIR,
SO NOT
BY
AUGUSTE RENOIR.
THEN WE'VE GOT SOTHEBY'S DATED
2003.
AGAIN, ATTRIBUTED TO PIERRE
AUGUSTE RENOIR.
CANNOT CONFIRM AUTHENTICITY.
REGARDING THE RENOIR PAINTING,
RENOIR IN INVERTED COMMAS, THE
THEN AUTHORITY ON THE ARTIST
CONCLUDED THAT THE PAINTING
WAS A COPY.
SO THERE'S QUITE A LOT OF DOUBT
HERE.

Philip says I HAVE TO SAY I
REALLY LIKE THIS PAINTING.
EVERYTHING ABOUT IT FEELS RIGHT.
I MEAN THIS IS WHAT THOSE EARLY
IMPRESSIONISTS WERE UP TO.
IT'S ABOUT LIGHT, IT'S ABOUT
COLOUR, IT'S ABOUT FEELING,
IT'S ABOUT LIFE ON THE MOVE.
THE MORE I SPEND TIME WITH IT
THE MORE I FEEL COMFORTABLE,
THIS
HAS
TO BE BY RENOIR.
BUT THAT'S JUST MY OPINION.
WE NEED TO FIND HARD EVIDENCE
THAT RENOIR PAINTED OUR PICTURE
SO I'M SENDING IT TO THE HIGHLY
RESPECTED COURTAULD INSTITUTE
IN LONDON FOR FORENSIC
ANALYSIS.
IN PAST TOUGH CASES WE'VE
CALLED ON THE SERVICES OF AVIVA
BURNSTOCK, ONE OF THE WORLD'S
LEADING AUTHORITIES IN THE
SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF ART.
ARMED WITH CUTTING-EDGE
TECHNOLOGY SHE CAN REVEAL CLUES
HIDDEN WITHIN THE CANVAS.

He takes the painting to Aviva’s studio.

Aviva is in her forties, with shoulder length wavy brown hair. She wears a black top, pale gray blazer and a pearl necklace.

Philip says SO GIVE ME YOUR FIRST REACTION.

Aviva says WELL, IT'S
A NICE LIGHT-HEARTED SKETCH,
PAINTED AT SPEED.
PERHAPS EVEN IN ONE GO FROM
START TO FINISH OUT OF DOORS.

Philip says AND THUS NOT
UNTYPICAL OF THE TYPE OF WORKS
THAT THE IMPRESSIONISTS WERE
DOING AND THEIR APPROACH TO
SUBJECTS.

Aviva says YES, IT'S ABSOLUTELY
CHARACTERISTICALLY LIKE AN
IMPRESSIONIST SKETCH.
AND IT ACTUALLY LOOKS LIKE IT'S
BEEN DONE WITH QUITE A NARROW
RANGE OF PIGMENTS, BUT OF COURSE
I WOULD NEED TO LOOK MORE
CLOSELY AT THEM TO KNOW WHAT
HEY ARE USING THE MICROSCOPE
AND OTHER TECHNIQUES.

Philip says AVIVA NEEDS TIME
TO UNDERTAKE A THOROUGH
TECHNICAL ANALYSIS OF THE
PAINTING.
A SERIES OF TESTS WHICH WILL
DETERMINE HOW IT WAS PAINTED
AND WITH WHAT PIGMENTS.
HER RESEARCH COULD PROVIDE
VITAL EVIDENCE TO PROVE WHETHER
OUR PAINTING IS BY THE MASTER
RENOIR OR ANOTHER HAND.

Aviva analyzes the painting under a magnifying machine.

Fiona says WE'RE MEETING WITH
OUR SPECIALIST ART RESEARCHER
DOCTOR BENDOR GROSVENOR TO ASSESS
THE EVIDENCE.

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 WELL,
HERE'S A PHOTO OF THE MAN AT
THE CENTRE OF OUR MYSTERY...
PIERRE AUGUSTE RENOIR.

Fiona says AND VERY FINE HE
LOOKS, TOO.

Philip says SURELY THE WAY TO
GO FORWARD ON THIS IS TO HAVE
A REALLY GOOD LOOK AT THE
PICTURE ITSELF.

Bendor says SHALL WE START WITH
THE BACK OF THE PAINTING?
AND IF WE LOOK HERE WE HAVE AN
UNFORTUNATELY DAMAGED BUT NONE
THE LESS RATHER IMPORTANT STOCK
NUMBER WHICH SEEMS TO MATCH UP
WITH SOME INFORMATION IN THE
RENOIR CATALOGUE RAISONNE,
STOCK NUMBER BERNHEIM-JEUNE
26863.
NOW BERNHEIM-JEUNE PUBLISHED AN
EXHAUSTIVE CATALOGUE RAISONNE
IN 2007 OF RENOIR'S WORKS.
IT'S 5 VOLUMES.
I'VE GOT ONE VOLUME HERE, AND
IT RECORDS 4,654 PAINTINGS...
INCLUDING ONE OF THEM WHICH IS
OURS.
THERE IT IS.

Fiona says AND THE THING IS
BERNHEIM-JEUNE IS AN IMPORTANT
NAME.
THEY WERE MAJOR ART DEALERS IN
THE IMPRESSIONIST MOVEMENT AT
THE TIME OF RENOIR.
I MEAN THEIR AUTHORITY SHOULD
CARRY CLOUT.

Bendor says AND, IN FACT, THE
AUTHORS OF THIS CATALOGUE
RAISONNE WHO WERE CALLED
GUY-PATRICE AND MICHEL
DAUBERVILLE ARE THE DESCENDENTS
OF THE BERNHEIM-JEUNE BROTHERS.

He shows them some pictures on a projection screen and says THIS IS GASTON BERNHEIM-JEUNE
WITH CLAUDE MONET.
THIS IS JOSSE BERNHEIM-JEUNE
WITH CEZANNE.
AND I LOVE THIS PHOTO.
THIS IS RENOIR PAINTING JOSSE
BERNHEIM-JEUNE'S WIFE AND,
IN FACT, RENOIR PAINTED A
NUMBER OF PORTRAITS OF THE
BERNHEIM-JEUNE FAMILY.

Fiona says AND GIVEN THE
CLOSENESS OF THEIR
RELATIONSHIP, NOT JUST AS
FRIENDS BUT ALSO AS DEALER AND
ARTIST, THEY WOULD HAVE ACCRUED
A WEALTH OF DOCUMENTARY
EVIDENCE ABOUT RENOIR'S
PAINTINGS.
AND IF YOU LOOK AT WHAT'S IN
THE CATALOGUE RAISONNE ABOUT
OUR PAINTING, IT'S INCREDIBLY
DETAILED.
SO ACHETE PAR BERNHEIM-JEUNE,
SO BOUGHT BY BERNHEIM-JEUNE
ON THE 10th OF FEBRUARY 1937.
A BLANCHE MONET.
THAT MEANS FROM BLANCHE MONET
FOR 40,000 FRANCS AND THEN
VENDU, SOLD ON THE 21st OF APRIL
TO TOOTH, AND THAT MEANS ARTHUR
TOOTH, THE WELL KNOWN,
REPUTABLE ENGLISH ART DEALER.

Philip says NOW WITH A RICH
PROVENANCE LIKE THAT, THAT
SHOULD BE MORE THAN ENOUGH TO
PROVE THE AUTHENTICITY OF THIS
PICTURE.

Fiona says BUT IT ISN'T,
BECAUSE THE OTHER INTERNATIONAL
ART AUTHORITY IN THIS
PARTICULAR STORY THE
WILDENSTEIN INSTITUTE, THERE IT
IS ON THE RIGHT, ARE COMPILING
THEIR OWN CATALOGUE OF RENOIR'S
WORKS, AND THEY WILL NOT ACCEPT
OUR PAINTING AS GENUINE.
AND THE THING IS, THE BIG
INTERNATIONAL AUCTION HOUSES
NEED A STAMP OF APPROVAL FROM
THE WILDENSTEIN INSTITUTE,
BECAUSE IF THEY DON'T GET
THAT, NEITHER WILL THEY ACCEPT
A RENOIR AS GENUINE AND THEY
WON'T SELL IT AS SUCH.

Bendor says SO WE'VE GOT A
PICTURE HERE WHICH HAS FALLEN
INTO SOME SORT OF BIZARRE ART
WORLD TURF WAR.
ACCEPTED BY ONE AUTHORITY BUT
REJECTED BY THE OTHER.

Philip says BUT AS WE FOUND
AGAIN AND AGAIN, THE ART WORLD
CAN BE A LAW UNTO ITSELF.
AND, UNFORTUNATELY, WE'VE GOT
TO PLAY BY THE RULES.
WE'VE GOT TO FIND SUFFICIENT
EVIDENCE TO SATISFY THE
WILDENSTEIN INSTITUTE.

(music plays)

On a boat, Philip says FIRST TO THE SCENE OF THE
CRIME...
I'VE COME TO FRANCE WITH NICKY,
TRAVELLING ALONG THE RIVER
SEINE IN SEARCH OF EVIDENCE TO
SUPPORT AUNT GWEN'S STORY THAT
RENOIR PAINTED THIS WORK
ALONGSIDE MONET.
RENOIR AND MONET MET AS
STUDENTS IN THE 1860s AND
BECAME LIFELONG FRIENDS.
AS YOUNG MEN THEY BEGAN
EXPERIMENTING WITH LIGHT AND
COLOUR, WORKING SIDE BY SIDE,
OFTEN PAINTING THE SAME VIEWS.
THEY DEVELOPED A NEW STYLE OF
PAINTING THAT WOULD BRING ABOUT
A REVOLUTION IN ART.
IMPRESSIONISM WAS BORN FROM
THEIR WORK TOGETHER.

Side by side pictures show the similarities both artists’ paintings.

Philip says WE GO BEYOND THE BRIDGE,
JUST A LITTLE BIT FURTHER.
I'M TAKING NICKY TO THE PLACE
WHERE HER PICTURE IS MEANT TO
HAVE BEEN PAINTED, A SUBURB
OF PARIS WHICH WAS ONCE THE
IMPRESSIONIST'S PLAYGROUND,
ARGENTEUIL.
I WANT TO SHARE AN EXCITING
DISCOVERY WITH HER.
IN 1874, THE YEAR THAT THE
IMPRESSIONIST MOVEMENT FIRST
OFFICIALLY BEGAN RENOIR AND
MONET EMBARKED ON A SERIES OF
PICTURES TOGETHER PAINTING THE
SAME SCENE.
PRETTY WELL WHERE WE ARE NOW.
PROBABLY MOORED IN THEIR BATEAU
ATELIER, THEIR STUDIO BOAT.

Philip and Nicky hold pictures of the paintings.

Philip says SO THIS IS THE MONET AND
THAT'S THE RENOIR.
BOTH UNQUESTIONABLY THE SAME
SCENE, BUT MONET'S ABOUT MUCH
MORE DEMONSTRATIVE, CLEAR BRUSH
STROKES, AND THEN RENOIR ON THE
OTHER HAND HE BLENDS HIS PAINT.
IT'S MUCH SOFTER.

Nicky says IT'S MORE
FEATHERY.

Philip says AND HAVE YOU NOTICED?
THAT ONE IS UNSIGNED, LIKE
YOURS.

Nicky says OH, I LIKE
THAT.
THAT IS GOOD NEWS, ISN'T IT?

Philip says AND, LIKE YOURS,
IT'S A SKETCH I THINK.
AND APPEARS TO BE UNFINISHED,
NOT QUITE RESOLVED.
HE HASN'T QUITE GOT THERE.
DOESN'T DESERVE A SIGNATURE
YET.
AND MY GUESS IS IF WE'RE GOING
TO PROVE YOURS IS BY RENOIR
IT'S GOING TO BE AN
UNFINISHED WORK, A BIT LIKE
THIS.
THIS IS PROGRESS.
RENOIR SAID HE NEVER SIGNED
HIS SKETCHES, WHICH COULD
EXPLAIN WHY NICKY'S PAINTING
DOESN'T BEAR HIS NAME.
BUT THERE ARE OTHERS WE CAN
LOOK AT.
I MEAN PAINTED, PRETTY WELL
FROM THE SAME SPOT.
DIFFERENT MOOD THIS TIME.
I'M HOLDING THE MONET YOU'VE
GOT THE RENOIR.

They both hold pictures of paintings depicting a sailing boat near a peer.

Nicky says ISN'T THAT
FASCINATING?
THAT IS LITERALLY THE SAME
SCENE.
I THINK RENOIR MIGHT HAVE
LEARNT SOMETHING FROM HIS
FRIEND HERE, 'COS THESE BRUSH
STROKES ARE MUCH BOLDER THAN
USUAL, AND MONET COULD HAVE
PAINTED THOSE, COULDN'T HE?

Philip says NOW YOU'RE TALKING
LIKE AN ARTIST NOW.
NOW IT WAS THOUGHT WHEN THEY
FINISHED THESE WORKS THAT, THAT
PERIOD OF WORKING IN TANDEM
WITH EACH OTHER, PAINTING THE
SAME SCENE CEASED, THEY WENT
THEIR DIFFERENT WAYS.
NOT SO.
I CAN SHOW YOU SOMETHING RATHER
THRILLING.
HERE IS A MONET, AND HERE IS
YOUR RENOIR.

Nicky says OH, LOOK AT THAT.
ISN'T THAT FANTASTIC?

Philip says NOW THESE ARE
UNQUESTIONABLY THE SAME SCENE.
LIKE THE PICTURES, THE PAIRS OF
PICTURES THAT WE'VE BEEN
LOOKING AT UP 'TIL NOW.

Nicky says THAT IS THE SAME
EVENING.
EVEN THE MAN IN THE BOAT.
I ALWAYS THOUGHT THERE HAD TO
BE A PAIR TO PICTURE IF AUNT
GWEN'S STORY WAS CORRECT, AND
HERE IT IS.
I MEAN IT MUST BE.

Philip says AND IF WE CAN GET
YOUR PICTURE ACCEPTED, NOT ONLY
DOES IT MEAN THAT WE'VE GOT
ANOTHER RENOIR BUT UNKNOWN TO
THE ART WORLD OUT THERE,
THERE'S ANOTHER PAIR OF
PICTURES BY THESE FOUNDING
FIGURES OF IMPRESSIONISM,
PAINTING SIDE BY SIDE THE SAME
SCENE.
WE COULD BE ADDING ANOTHER
PARAGRAPH TO ART HISTORY.

Nicky says WHEN YOU PUT IT LIKE
THAT, THAT IS VERY EXCITING
ISN'T IT?
WOW.

(music plays)

Fiona says IF AUNT GWEN'S STORY
HOLDS TRUE, RENOIR GAVE HIS
PAINTING TO MONET WHO
EVENTUALLY TOOK IT TO HIS HOME
IN GIVERNY.
MONET MOVED HERE IN 1883 AND
CREATED THESE GLORIOUS GARDENS
WHICH HAVE CAPTIVATED
GENERATIONS OF VISITORS EVER
SINCE.
IN 1936, 11 YEARS AFTER MONET'S
DEATH, AUNT GWEN SAID SHE CAME
HERE WITH HER FATHER SIR
LAURENCE.
HERE THEY MET BLANCHE MONET WHO
WAS CUSTODIAN OF MONET'S HOUSE
AND STUDIO.
WE'RE FOLLOWING IN AUNT GWEN'S
FOOTSTEPS TO TRY AND FIND
EVIDENCE THAT OUR PAINTING WAS
ONCE HANGING HERE AMONG MONET'S
ART COLLECTION.

Nicky says OH, THIS IS WONDERFUL.

Fiona says JUST BEAUTIFUL, ISN'T
IT?
IMAGINE WHEN ALL THE PICTURES
ON THIS WALL WERE GENUINE
MONETS, OBVIOUSLY THESE ARE
COPIES.
IT WOULD HAVE BEEN
BREATHTAKING.

Nicky says WOULDN'T IT?

Fiona says AND IMAGINE AUNT GWEN
WALKING IN HERE WHEN SHE WAS,
WHAT, 21?

Nicky says YEAH.
YES.
SHE CAME HERE WITH HER PARENTS
AND SAID IT WAS JUST THE MOST
EXCITING THING, YOU KNOW, THE
STUDIO OF THE GREAT MAN.
IN THOSE DAYS IT MUST HAVE BEEN
INCREDIBLE.
AND SHE SPOKE TO BLANCHE, AND
I GUESS OUR PICTURE WAS
PROBABLY SITTING IN THE CORNER
SOMEWHERE AND THEY SPOTTED IT.

Fiona holds a family picture and says WELL, BLANCHE MONET,
THERE'S A PICTURE OF HER WHEN
SHE WAS 17.
BLANCHE MONET WAS RELATED TO
MONET IN A SLIGHTLY COMPLICATED
WAY IN THAT HER MOTHER MARRIED
MONET, SO SHE WAS HIS
STEP-DAUGHTER, BUT SHE ALSO
THEN MARRIED MONET'S SON JEAN.
SO SHE WAS, AT THE SAME TIME,
MONET'S STEP-DAUGHTER AND HIS
DAUGHTER-IN-LAW.

Nicky says IMMERSED IN THE
FAMILY.

Fiona says AND, ALSO, SHE WAS AN
ARTIST.
A SUCCESSFUL ARTIST ACTUALLY.
SHE WASN'T A DABBLER.
IT WAS SOMETHING SHE TOOK
VERY SERIOUSLY.
HER WORK WAS EXHIBITED, AND
SHE PAINTED ALONGSIDE MONET.
CAN YOU IMAGINE WHAT THAT MUST
HAVE FELT LIKE?
BECAUSE, OF COURSE, HE WAS AT
THE HEIGHT OF HIS SUCCESS AND
HIS FAME AT THIS POINT.

Nicky says IMAGINE HAVING THE
OPPORTUNITY.

Fiona says BLANCHE WAS DEVOTED
TO MONET.
FOR THE LAST 12 YEARS OF HIS
LIFE SHE LIVED HERE AND CARED
FOR HIM, ENABLING THE AGING
ARTIST TO COMPLETE HIS LAST
GREAT WORKS.
AFTER MONET'S DEATH IN 1926
BLANCHE REMAINED AT GIVERNY TO
LOOK AFTER HIS HOME AND
EXTENSIVE ART COLLECTION.
THERE ARE ACCOUNTS FROM
VISITORS WHO MARVELLED AT THE
MANY WORKS BY MONET AND HIS
FELLOW ARTISTS THAT HUNG HERE.
AND I'VE BEEN SEARCHING FOR
ANY MENTION OF NICKY'S RENOIR.
THERE'S A REFERENCE TO THE ART
COLLECTION IN THIS BOOK HERE
WRITTEN BY RENE GIMPEL WHO WAS
AN ART DEALER.
LET ME JUST READ THIS EXTRACT.
HE SAYS 'WE RETURNED ALL 3 OF
US TO THE HOUSE', HE'D COME
HERE WITH SOME FRIENDS, 'PASSING
THROUGH THE KITCHEN DECORATED
WITH PRETTY BLUE TILES OF A
DELECTABLE CLEANLINESS, INTO
THE DINING ROOM COVERED WITH
JAPANESE PRINTS HUNG ON WALLS
OF A UNIQUE YELLOW, PAINTED BY
CLAUDE MONET.
FOR THE FIRST TIME I WENT TO
THE FIRST FLOOR, INTO THE
BEDROOM WITH ITS WALLS COVERED
WITH CANVASES BY THE ARTIST'S
GIFTED FRIENDS.'

Nicky says UH-HUH, WONDERFUL.

Fiona says 'THERE ARE ADMIRABLE
RENOIRS'.

Nicky says YEAH, LIKE THAT BIT.

Fiona says 'ESPECIALLY TWO
SMALL HORIZONTAL ONES.
A WOMAN AND CHILD ON THE GRASS
WITH A HEN TO THEIR RIGHT, AND
ANOTHER OF THE SAME SIZE, OF
A WOMAN ON A SOFA.'
AT THE HEAD OF HIS BED, A NUDE
BY RENOIR, VERY FINE.'
THE TWO RENOIRS WERE GIVEN TO
MONET'.

Nicky says WELL, THAT VERIFIES
HER STORY, DOESN'T IT?

Fiona says AUNT GWEN'S STORY.
IT CERTAINLY DOES.
THIS IS SO TANTALIZING BECAUSE
IT'S GETTING US CLOSER, BUT
WHAT IT DOESN'T HAVE IS A
DESCRIPTION OF AUNT GWEN'S
PAINTING HERE AT GIVERNY.
AND THAT'S WHAT WE NEED IS
CONCRETE EVIDENCE THAT IT WAS
HERE, SOMEWHERE IN THIS HOUSE.

(music plays)

Fiona says WE NEED TO FIND OUT IF THERE IS
ANY RECORD OF MONET'S ART
COLLECTION, SO WE'VE ASKED TO
MEET WITH ART HISTORIAN CLARE
JOYES WHO WAS MARRIED TO
BLANCHE'S NEPHEW FOR OVER
40 YEARS.
SHE'S WRITTEN AND LECTURED ON
LIFE AT GIVERNY SO I'M HOPING
SHE HAS SOME ANSWERS.
CLARE, HELLO.
FIONA.
NICE TO MEET YOU.
THIS IS NICKY PHILLIPS.

Clare is in her sixties, with mid-length gray. She wears a gray pantsuit, a white shirt, a blue necklace and a patterned scarf.

Clare says HELLO, HELLO.

Fiona says WHOSE PAINTING WE'RE
INVESTIGATING.
WE'RE TRYING TO FIND OUT ANY
DETAILS WE CAN ABOUT WHAT
COLLECTION WAS HERE WHEN MONET
DIED IN 1926.
DID HE LEAVE A WILL, FIRST OF
ALL?

Clare says NO, BECAUSE,
YOU KNOW, MICHEL WAS THE ONLY
SON LEFT.
MONET HAD TWO SON, JEAN WHO DIED
IN 1914, AND SO MICHEL WAS THE
ONLY CHILD LEFT.

Fiona says SO EVERYTHING WENT
TO MICHEL.

Clare says AND SO
EVERYTHING WENT TO HIM.

Fiona says WAS AN INVENTORY
DONE AFTER HIS DEATH OF
EVERYTHING HERE AT GIVERNY?

Clare says THIS IS NOT
KNOWN AT ALL.

Fiona says SO NO WILL, NO
INVENTORY THAT YOU KNOW OF.

Nicky says IT'S NOT LOOKING
GOOD.

Fiona says NOT LOOKING GREAT.
THERE MUST BE SOMEONE WHO KNEW
ABOUT EXACTLY WHAT WAS HERE AT
GIVERNY.

Clare says MONET HAD,
LIKE EVERY FRENCH MAN OR ANY
FRENCH WOMAN, A LAWYER WHICH IS
CALLED A NOTARY, WHO KEEPS A
RECORD OF WHAT YOU OWN AND YOU
KEEP THE SAME NOTARY ALL YOUR
LIFE LONG NORMALLY.
SO IF THERE IS ANY RECORD
LEFT FOR MONET IT'S AT THE
NOTARY'S PLACE.

Fiona says SO THAT'S WHAT WE
NEED TO DO THEN, TRY AND FIND
THE NOTARY OR THE OFFICE OF THE
NOTARY.

(music plays)

Philip says WHILE FIONA HUNTS
FOR PROOF THE PAINTING WAS IN
MONET'S ART COLLECTION I'M IN
PARIS ON ANOTHER LEAD.
I'VE COME TO THE MUSEE D'ORSAY,
HOME TO ONE OF THE WORLD'S
GREATEST COLLECTIONS OF
IMPRESSIONIST ART.
THERE ARE PRIZE RENOIRS ON
DISPLAY, BUT I'M HERE TO SEE
OTHER TREASURES THAT ARE HIDDEN
AWAY FROM VIEW, PRECIOUS RELICS
THAT COULD PROVE CRUCIAL
EVIDENCE IN OUR INVESTIGATION.
THIS IS ONE OF THE HOLY GRAILS
OF IMPRESSIONISM.
THIS IS RENOIR'S ACTUAL PAINT
BOX... THE PIGMENTS, THE COLOURS
AND THE PALETTE THAT HE USED
TO MIX HIS PAINTS TO CREATE
THOSE WONDERFUL PAINTINGS.
I MEAN THE PALETTE IS SO
FASCINATING BECAUSE THAT'S THE
FIRST STAGE IN THE THINKING
PROCESS.
THIS IS WHERE HE TRIES OUT
THE PAINTS, AND THERE'S ONE
PARTICULAR STROKE.
A LOVELY SORT OF SHINY YELLOW
WHICH MAY BE IN MY IMAGINATION,
BUT I FEEL IT CAN ONLY BE A
STROKE BY RENOIR.
IT'S THAT SOFT QUICK GLANCING
BLOW THAT HE DOES WITH A SABLE
BRUSH.
BUT THERE'S SOMETHING EVEN MORE
EXCITING.
AND THIS IS A LIST IN
RENOIR'S OWN HAND THAT COMES
FROM THE ARCHIVES OF
DURAND-RUEL WHO WERE ONE OF
RENOIR'S FIRST DEALERS.
NOW IT'S PRODUCED IN ABOUT 1877,
IN OTHER WORDS QUITE CLOSE TO
THE DATE OF WHEN OUR PICTURE
COULD HAVE BEEN DONE.
AND IT LISTS THE ACTUAL
INGREDIENTS, THE PIGMENTS, THE
COLOURS THAT RENOIR USES IN HIS
PICTURES AT THAT DATE.
NOW THIS IS INVALUABLE
EVIDENCE.
IF WE FIND THESE INGREDIENTS IN
OUR PICTURE THEN IT'S GOING TO
HELP ENORMOUSLY.
IF NOT, IT COULD BE A PROBLEM.

Fiona says BACK IN LONDON AT THE
COURTAULD INSTITUTE LIBRARY,
BENDOR IS ON THE HUNT FOR ANY
EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT AUNT GWEN'S
STORY THAT THE PAINTING CAME
FROM MONET'S ART COLLECTION.
HE'S TRYING TO FIND A RECORD
OF THE SALE OF THE PICTURE
FROM THE DEALER, ARTHUR TOOTH,
TO SIR LAURENCE.
THIS MIGHT GIVE US PROOF OF
WHERE IT CAME FROM.

Nicky meets Bendor at the library.

Fiona says HE'S GOT SOME NEWS FOR
NICKY.

Bendor says HELLO, NICKY.

Nicky says HI.

Bendor says I HAD A LITTLE LOOK
IN THE LEDGERS OF ARTHUR TOOTH
WHICH ARE SPLIT ALL OVER THE
WORLD.
THEY'RE IN CALIFORNIA AND
THE TATE GALLERY IN LONDON.
AND IF I START OFF WITH THIS
ONE HERE, I CAN SHOW YOU THERE'S
A PURCHASE LEDGER FROM
BERNHEIM-JEUNE IN APRIL 1937.
AND IT SHOWS THAT THE TOOTH
GALLERY PAID 85,000 FRENCH
FRANCS FOR A PAINTING BY RENOIR
CALLED
BASSIN D'ARGENTEUIL 1875,
WHICH IS YOUR PICTURE.
THAT PICTURE.
NOW WE COME TO THE INTERESTING
THING BECAUSE WE THEN GO TO THE
SALES PART OF THE LEDGER HERE,
WE CAN SEE THAT THE SAME
PAINTING,
BASSIN D'ARGENTEUIL
BY RENOIR WAS SOLD ON THE 1st
OF JUNE 1937 TO GREAT GRANDPA
SIR LAURENCE PHILIPPS.

Nicky says OH, MY GOD.

Bendor says AND ALSO I LIKE THIS
FACT THAT THEY'VE GOT HERE FOR
THE PROVENANCE IT SAYS IN
BRACKETS "FROM THE COLLECTION
OF CLAUDE MONET."

Nicky says WHICH BACKS UP MY
GREAT AUNT'S STORY.

Bendor says BACKS UP THE FAMILY
STORY, YES.
WHAT MIGHT NOT BE SUCH GOOD
NEWS IS WHEN YOU FIND OUT THE
PRICE HERE THAT YOUR GREAT
GRANDPA PAID FOR THE PAINTING.
AND HE PAID 1250 POUNDS FOR IT.
SO WE'VE GOT QUITE A NICE
LITTLE MARK-UP FROM POOR OLD
BLANCHE MONET GETTING HER 40,000
FRANCS WHICH WAS ABOUT 380 POUNDS TO
YOUR GREAT GRANDPA PAYING 1250
POUNDS FOR IT.

Nicky says WILDLY OVER THE ODDS
PROBABLY FOR SOMETHING THAT'S
NOT SIGNED.

Bendor says WELL YOU COULD,
THAT'S ABOUT THE PRICE OF TWO
AVERAGE HOUSES IN 1937.

Nicky says MY GOD!
OKAY.

Bendor says WELL, I'M SURE ARTHUR
TOOTH WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO
JUSTIFY THE PRICE VERY EASILY.

Nicky says OH, I'M SURE.

Bendor says AND JUST SO THERE'S
ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT AT ALL THAT
WE'RE DEALING WITH YOUR PICTURE,
THERE IS, IN FACT, A LITTLE
PHOTO HERE FROM THE TOOTH
ARCHIVES.
THEY ALSO HAD A PHOTOGRAPHIC
LEDGER AND, OF COURSE, WE CAN
BE ABSOLUTELY SURE THAT IT'S
YOUR PICTURE BECAUSE THERE
IT IS.

Nicky says WITH THE NAME
UNDERNEATH.

Bendor says WITH THE NAME
UNDERNEATH, YES.
SOLD TO SIR LAURENCE PHILIPPS.

Nicky says WELL, THAT'S
ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL.
PLEASE DON'T SAY
BUT.

Bendor says WELL, THERE'S NO BUT
AT THIS STAGE, NO, BECAUSE
WE'VE GOT AN ESTABLISHED PAPER
TRAIL ON THE PROVENANCE GOING
ALL THE WAY BACK TO
BERNHEIM-JEUNE, THE PEOPLE WHO
WRITE THE RENOIR CATALOGUE
RAISONNE.
SO EVERYTHING THEY SAY THAT
THE PICTURE CAME FROM BLANCHE
MONET SEEMS TO ALL BE
CORROBORATED BY THE PAPER
TRAIL.

(music plays)

Philip says THE DOCUMENTARY
EVIDENCE IS STACKING UP, BUT
WHAT CAN THE SCIENCE TELL US?
ARMED WITH RENOIR'S LIST OF
PIGMENTS I'VE COME TO BERLIN.
WE'VE SENT THE PICTURE HERE TO
UNDERGO SOME CUTTING-EDGE
ANALYSIS.
AVIVA HAS INVITED ME TO THE
BRUKER CORPORATION WHO
MANUFACTURE STATE-OF-THE-ART
SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS.
THIS PLACE SMACKS OF Q'S DEN
IN JAMES BOND.
THE MACHINES THEY PRODUCE HERE
ARE DESIGNED TO IDENTIFY THE
MAKE-UP OF ANYTHING FROM
EXPLOSIVES, TO DRUGS, TO
DISEASES...
EVEN WORKS OF ART.
THEY'VE AGREED TO SCAN OUR
PAINTING USING A BRAND NEW
PIECE OF KIT WHICH WILL TELL US
WHETHER THE PIGMENTS USED ARE
RIGHT FOR RENOIR OR WRONG.

(music plays)
I KNOW WE'RE IN THE PRESENCE
OF AN EXTRAORDINARY MACHINE.

Aviva says I'M REALLY PLEASED
TO BE HERE.
IT'S THE FIRST TIME THAT I'VE
HAD A CHANCE TO SEE THIS AMAZING
MACHINE IN ACTION.
THERE'S ONLY VERY FEW OF THESE
INSTRUMENTS IN THE WORLD, AND
EVERYONE IN MY FIELD IS QUEUING
UP TO USE IT.

Philip says WITH THE SCAN
COMPLETE IT'S TIME TO SEE OUR
PAINTING IN A COMPLETELY NEW
LIGHT, WHERE EVERY INDIVIDUAL
INGREDIENT THE ARTIST USED IS
MAPPED OUT.
I'VE NEVER SEEN A PAINTING LOOK
QUITE LIKE THIS.

Aviva says IT'S ABSOLUTELY
AMAZING.
AND WHAT I'M DOING HERE IS
LOOKING AT IMAGES OF THE
DISTRIBUTION OF DIFFERENT
ELEMENTS IN THE PAINTING, AND
THOSE ELEMENTS CORRESPOND TO
PIGMENTS.
I'VE BROUGHT UP BARIUM,
TITANIUM AND ZINC, AND THEY SEEM
TO CORRESPOND TO RESTORATIONS
TO THE PAINTING.
YOU CAN SEE DAMAGES TO THE
EDGES AND A TEAR MEND IN THE
MIDDLE WHICH HAVE BEEN
RETOUCHED.

Philip says SO WE CAN SEE THE
SCARS OF ITS PAST.
WHICH I FIND REALLY COMFORTING
BECAUSE THAT'S EXACTLY THE SORT
OF HISTORY I WOULD EXPECT A
PICTURE OF THE 1870s TO HAVE.

Aviva says YES.

Philip says THAT'S ENCOURAGING,
BUT I NEED TO CROSS CHECK
RENOIR'S LIST OF PIGMENTS FROM
THE 1870s WITH THOSE PRESENT
IN OUR PICTURE.
HE SAID HE PAINTED WITH A RED
PIGMENT CALLED VERMILLION, BUT
HAS THE SCANNER DETECTED IT?

Aviva says WHAT I'VE DONE HERE,
IS I CAN SELECT MERCURY, WHICH
IS ONE OF THE MAJOR ELEMENTS
IN VERMILLION, MERCURY SULPHIDE
PIGMENT, AND HERE'S A MAP OF
WHERE THE VERMILLION IS USED
IN THE PAINTING.
THE MASTS OF THE BOATS, FOR
EXAMPLE, AND THEIR REFLECTION
IN THE WATER.

Philip says WHICH IS OF COURSE
CONSISTENT WITH WHAT RENOIR
SAID.
POSITIVE PROGRESS.
NEXT ON RENOIR'S LIST IS COBALT
BLUE.

Aviva says ONE OF THE WAYS OF
CHECKING THAT HERE IS TO CLICK
ON THE ELEMENTAL COBALT MAP.
HERE WE ARE.
WHICH CORRESPONDS TO ALL THE
AREAS OF BLUE.
WELL, IT CERTAINLY IS THE MAIN
BLUE PIGMENT THAT HE USED FOR
THIS PICTURE.

Philip says THAT'S ANOTHER ONE
ON HIS LIST OF PIGMENTS THAT
HE USED.

Aviva says YES.
THAT'S INTERESTING ALSO TO NOTE
THAT IT'S SAID THAT LATER ON IN
THE 1880s HE DROPPED USING
COBALT BLUE IN FAVOUR OF
ULTRAMARINE PIGMENT.

Philip says BUT IT'S STILL
IMPORTANT THOUGH, ISN'T IT?
BECAUSE THAT WAS THE COLOUR HE
WAS USING IN THE 1870s, THE
VERY DECADE THAT WE THINK OUR
PICTURE WAS PAINTED.
SO FAR SO GOOD, BUT THERE'S ONE
MORE PIGMENT I HOPE THE SCANNER
HAS DETECTED BECAUSE RENOIR
ONLY USED IT AT VERY SPECIFIC
TIMES IN HIS CAREER.
WHAT I REALLY WANT TO KNOW
ABOUT IS DOES THIS PAINTING
HAVE CHROME YELLOW BECAUSE
THAT'S, OF COURSE, THE VERY
MATERIAL THAT WE KNOW THROUGH
DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE THAT HE
USED BUT ABANDONED IN THE
LATE 1870s.

Aviva says OKAY, WE CAN LOOK AT
THE CHROMIUM MAP.
AND THERE IS INDEED CHROME IN
THE PAINTING, BUT WHAT I SHOULD
POINT OUT IS THAT CHROME IS
PRESENT ALSO IN VIRIDIAN, THE
CHROMIUM OXIDE GREEN THAT'S
USED A LOT IN THE PICTURE FOR
THE BOAT AND THE REFLECTION
UNDER THE BOAT AND ELEMENTS OF
THE MID-GROUND.
BUT THE LIGHT GREEN, WHICH I
THOUGHT WAS A MIXTURE OF COBALT
BLUE AND A YELLOW PIGMENT...
WE CAN NOW SEE CONTAINS A LOT
OF CHROMIUM SO I CAN BE QUITE
SURE THAT THE YELLOW THAT'S
MIXED WITH THE BLUE IS CHROME
YELLOW.

Philip says WHICH WAS EXACTLY
WHAT I WAS PRAYING FOR.
THAT COMPLETES IT.
THAT SHOWS THAT ALL THE
MATERIALS THAT THIS PICTURE IS
MADE OF WERE THE ONES THAT WE
KNOW RENOIR WAS USING IN THE
1870s.

(music plays)

Fiona says BENDOR IS ON THE HUNT
FOR THE INVENTORY OF MONET'S
ART COLLECTION, WHICH UNDER
FRENCH LAW SHOULD HAVE BEEN
MADE ON HIS DEATH IN 1926 BY
HIS FAMILY LAWYER OR NOTARY.

Bendor says NOW IT'S TAKEN A
LITTLE BIT OF DIGGING BUT I
HAVE MANAGED TO FIND OUT WHO
MONET'S NOTARY WAS.
IT WAS A CHAP CALLED MONSIEUR
BAUDREZ.
HE IS, OF COURSE, LONG SINCE
DEAD, HOWEVER HIS OFFICE STILL
EXISTS, OR HIS SUCCESSOR
OFFICE.
THAT'S THE GOOD NEWS.
THE BAD NEWS IS THEY'VE SENT ME
THIS e-mail AND IT SAYS, "FIRST
OF ALL, I ASSURE YOU THAT OUR
OFFICE WAS IN CHARGE OF
MONSIEUR CLAUDE MONET'S ESTATE.
THE INVENTORY OF THE PAINTINGS
WAS ESTABLISHED BY OUR
COLLEAGUE FROM THE TOWN OF
ANDELYS.
THEY TOLD ME THAT THE SAID
DEED WAS DESTROYED DURING THE
WAR AND THAT THERE IS NO
TRACE LEFT."
SO THAT IS NOT GOOD NEWS,
HOWEVER, ALL IS NOT LOST.
I FOUND ANOTHER LEAD WHICH
FIONA MAY BE ABLE TO FOLLOW UP.

Fiona says I'M IN PARIS WITH
NICKY, HOT ON THE TRAIL OF
BENDOR'S LEAD.
HE THINKS HE'S LOCATED ANOTHER
RECORD OF MONET'S ART
COLLECTION.
IF OUR PAINTING'S IN IT, IT'S
JOB DONE.
NICKY, THIS SEARCH FOR
AN INVENTORY OF MONET'S ART
COLLECTION HAS BEEN DRIVING ME
CRAZY.
AND THE REASON I'VE BROUGHT YOU
HERE IS BECAUSE OF SOMETHING
DISCOVERED IN THIS BOOK.
THIS IS FROM THE MUSEE
MARMOTTAN, WHICH IS FROM THE
MONET MUSEUM HERE IN PARIS.
THIS IS A CHAPTER ABOUT MONET'S
ART COLLECTION AT GIVERNY, AND
THIS QUOTE IS WHAT CAUGHT OUR
ATTENTION.
"THE INVENTORY DRAWN UP BY
DURAND-RUEL ON MONET'S DEATH
GIVES A PRECISE ACCOUNT OF IT."
SO HERE IS AN INVENTORY OF
MONET'S ART COLLECTION.

Nicky says THAT'S AMAZING!

Fiona says BY DURAND-RUEL WHO
WERE ART DEALERS IN
IMPRESSIONIST WORK AT THE TIME,
PARTICULARLY MONET AND RENOIR.
THEY CLEARLY DREW UP AN
INVENTORY.
YOUR PAINTING, I BELIEVE,
SHOULD BE IN IT.

Nicky says OH, THANK GOD.

Fiona says AND THE REASON I'VE
BROUGHT YOU HERE IS THIS
BUILDING CONTAINS THE
DURAND-RUEL ARCHIVES, AND I
THINK THE ANSWER TO OUR QUEST
COULD LIE IN THERE.

Nicky says OH, PLEASE.

Fiona says YOU READY?

Nicky says YES, LET'S GO.

Fiona says COME ON.

They enter the art gallery.

Fiona says IT'S A RARE
PRIVILEGE TO GET ACCESS TO
THIS PRECIOUS RECORD OF
MONET'S ART COLLECTION.
VERY FEW PEOPLE HAVE EVER
SEEN IT.

Nicky says I HAVE GOT SUCH
BUTTERFLIES.

Fiona says I'M NOT SURPRISED.
THIS IS FROM DURAND-RUEL'S
ARCHIVE, AND IN HERE IS
DURAND-RUEL'S INVENTORY OF
MONET'S ART COLLECTION AFTER
HIS DEATH.
HAVE TO BE VERY, VERY CAREFUL
WITH THESE PAGES.
SO THIS IS IT.
ATELIER DE MONSIEUR CLAUDE
MONET.
NOW HERE IT LISTS THE
PAINTINGS.
NOW YOU CAN SEE ALL THESE
ARE BY CLAUDE MONET, OBVIOUSLY
WE'RE LOOKING FOR RENOIR.
AMAZING.
THESE ARE ALL BY CLAUDE MONET.

Nicky says GOD, I WISH I COULD
DO THIS MUCH WORK.

Fiona says YES.

Nicky says I REALLY DO.

Fiona says I KNOW.
PROLIFIC.
THESE ARE ALL, AGAIN, BY CLAUDE
MONET.
LOOK,
WATERLILIES.

Nicky says GOD, HOW FASCINATING.

Fiona says WE'RE UP TO 132 NOW.
SO FAR WE'VE ONLY SEEN LISTED
WORKS BY MONET HIMSELF, BUT
WHAT ABOUT THE MANY PAINTINGS
HE OWNED BY HIS FELLOW ARTISTS,
INCLUDING RENOIR?
HERE ARE SOME OTHER NAMES...
CAILLEBOTTE, VUILLARD, PISSARRO,
MANET, SIGNAC, SERGEANT...
AGAIN, CLAUDE MONET.
SO RENOIR IS NOT HERE.
I KNOW, I KNOW.
OKAY, HERE WE GO, HERE WE GO.
RENOIR, OKAY.
LA KASBA
I THINK IT IS, 1881.
OKAY, THAT'S NOT YOURS.
RENOIR,
FEMME AU DIVAN.
ANOTHER RENOIR... WOMAN, FEMME
ET ENFANT SUR L'HERBE WOMAN
AND CHILD ON THE GRASS.
IF OUR PAINTING IS LISTED AMONG
THESE RENOIRS OWNED BY MONET
THEN A PICTURE WITH NO VALUE
COULD BE WORTH 300,000 POUNDS.
RENOIR.
PORTRAIT OF MADAME MONET.
RENOIR AGAIN.
A NUDE OF A YOUNG GIRL.
RENOIR AGAIN, PORTRAIT OF
MADAME MONET STANDING.
RENOIR, WAGNER.
MUST BE A PORTRAIT OF WAGNER.
OKAY.
THERE'S NO RENOIR HERE.
NO RENOIR THERE.
OH, GOD, NICKY, YOUR PAINTING'S
NOT HERE.

Nicky says DON'T.

Fiona says OH, GOD, YOUR
PAINTING'S NOT HERE.

Nicky says I CAN'T COPE WITH
THIS ROLLER COASTER.

Fiona says LET ME JUST...
OKAY, LET ME JUST DOUBLE CHECK.
MONET, MONET, MONET AGAIN,
CAILLEBOTTE, VUILLARD, MONET.
IT'S NOT THERE, IS IT?
IT'S NOT HERE.
GOD, NICKY, I'M SORRY BECAUSE
I DID, I THOUGHT THIS COULD
BE IT.

Nicky says SO DID I.
WHAT A NIGHTMARE.

Fiona says IT
IS
A NIGHTMARE.
OH, GOD.

(music plays)

Philip says COULD THIS BE THE
REASON WHY OUR PAINTING HAS
NOT BEEN INCLUDED IN THE
WILDENSTEIN CATALOGUE?
WITH OUR HOPES DASHED, THE TEAM
ARE REGROUPING TO TRY AND FIND
A WAY FORWARD.

Fiona and Phil meet Bendor.

Fiona says IT FEELS LIKE WE'VE
HIT A SERIOUS SETBACK.
I MEAN I LOOKED THROUGH THE
INVENTORY OF MONET'S ART
COLLECTION AND OUR PAINTING IS
NOT THERE, AND YET EVERYTHING
WE HAVE LEARNT ABOUT OUR
PAINTING, TELLS US IT SHOULD
BE THERE.

Bendor says WELL THE GOOD NEWS
IS IT'S NOT THE END OF THE ROAD
FOR US BECAUSE THE CLAUDE MONET
INVENTORY IS INCOMPLETE.
THERE ARE, IN FACT, 6 PICTURES
BY RENOIR, NOW HANGING IN
MUSEUMS AROUND THE WORLD WHICH
WE KNOW FROM OTHER SOURCES USED
TO HANG AT GIVERNY, AND THEY ARE
MISSING FROM THE CLAUDE MONET
INVENTORY.

Fiona says SO IF THESE
PAINTINGS ARE MISSING, OUR
PAINTING COULD BE MISSING TOO?

Bendor says WELL, I'M VERY MUCH
HOPING IT COULD BE, AND I'VE A
THEORY AS TO WHY.
WHAT IF OUR PICTURE WASN'T PART
OF CLAUDE MONET'S COLLECTION,
BUT WHAT IF IT WAS PART OF
BLANCHE MONET'S COLLECTION?
WE KNOW SHE HAD HER OWN ART
COLLECTION.
WE KNOW THAT CLAUDE MONET
GAVE HER PAINTINGS OF HIS
OWN WHICH SHE LATER SOLD.
AND INTRIGUINGLY IN THE RENOIR
CATALOGUE RAISONNE THERE ARE
TWO PICTURES WHICH HAVE
BLANCHE'S NAME IN THE
PROVENANCE.
ONE OF THEM IS THIS PICTURE
HERE ON THE LEFT
REGATTA A
ARGENTEUIL, WHICH IS NOW IN THE
NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART IN
WASHINGTON AND THE OTHER
PICTURE IS, OF COURSE, OUR
PAINTING.

Fiona says SO IF THE PAINTING
IS BLANCHE'S AND NOT CLAUDE
MONET'S THEN OF COURSE IT
WOULDN'T APPEAR ON THE
INVENTORY OF HIS COLLECTION.
WHY WOULD IT?

Philip says YEAH, IT'S A NEAT
IDEA, BUT I HAVE TO SAY WITHOUT
ANY DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE IT'S
NOT GOING TO CUT IT WITH THE
WILDENSTEIN INSTITUTE.

Fiona says AND I WONDER IF THEY
ARE ENTERTAINING A RATHER MORE
SINISTER IDEA ABOUT THIS
PAINTING.
COULD YOU PASS ME THAT BOOK
THERE?
BECAUSE WE KNOW THAT BLANCHE
WAS... SHE WAS AN ARTIST IN HER
OWN RIGHT.
SHE WAS A VERY KEEN ARTIST.
SHE PAINTED ALONGSIDE MONET,
THIS IS HER WITH HIM HERE.
SHE OFTEN PAINTED THE SAME
VIEWS AS MONET.
AND I'VE GOT HERE A DIARY
WRITTEN BY RENE GIMPEL WHO WAS
AN ART DEALER, WHO KNEW MONET
AND BLANCHE, VISITED GIVERNY
OFTEN.
AND THERE'S AN ENTRY IN HERE
WHICH GIVES YOU PAUSE FOR
THOUGHT.
HE'S RECALLING A CONVERSATION
WITH DURAND-RUEL, ANOTHER ART
DEALER VERY WELL KNOWN TO MONET
AND HE SAYS... "I ASKED
DURAND-RUEL IF SHE SIGNED
THEM?"
WHAT HE MEANT WAS DOES BLANCHE
SIGN HER PAINTINGS?
THERE WE ARE.
HE REPLIED THAT SHE DID, BUT
THAT "WE'D BETTER BE ON OUR
GUARD, ALTHOUGH HER CANVASES
AREN'T YET PASSING FOR MONET'S
THEY CERTAINLY WILL."

Bendor says SO IS THE
SUGGESTION FROM THE
WILDENSTEIN'S THEN, NICKY'S
PICTURE IS A BLANCHE MONET
PAINTING THAT HAS BEEN
ATTRIBUTED LATER ON TO RENOIR?

Fiona says THERE'S NO EVIDENCE
TO SUGGEST THAT'S THE CASE.
I DON'T BELIEVE IT IS THE CASE,
BUT I'M WONDERING IF THAT'S
WHAT THE WILDENSTEIN INSTITUTE
IS THINKING.

Philip says I'M AFRAID I DON'T
SUBSCRIBE TO THIS AT ALL.
I MEAN I'VE BEEN LOOKING INTO
BLANCHE'S WORK AND THERE IS NO
WAY THAT HER WORK COULD BE
CONFUSED FOR A RENOIR OF THE
1870s, WHICH IS WHEN WE'RE
LOOKING AT.

A painting depicting a scene by a river appears.

Philip says NOW LOOK AT HIS PICTURE HERE,
FOR EXAMPLE.
THIS IS ONE OF HERS.
UP CLOSE THE PAINT IS SO
DIFFERENT.
IT'S THICK, IT'S ALMOST
TREACLY, THERE'S A FEELING OF
HEAVINESS.
NOW LOOK AT OURS.
THERE'S A FEELING LIGHTNESS,
OF FEATHERY TOUCH, THIS IS
NOT, SURELY NOT THE SAME
ARTIST.
BUT IF THE WILDENSTEIN INSTITUTE
ARE EVEN CONSIDERING THAT THIS
PICTURE IS BY BLANCHE MONET
THEN WE'VE GOT TO FIND THE
EVIDENCE NOW TO BLOW THAT
IDEA OUT OF THE WATER.
IF WE'RE TO PROVE OUR PAINTING
ISN'T BY BLANCHE WE NEED MORE
EVIDENCE, SO I'M HEADING BACK
TO THE COURTAULD INSTITUTE.
WE'VE EXHAUSTED ALL LINES OF
ENQUIRY EXCEPT ONE, WHICH I'VE
ASKED AVIVA TO HELP US WITH.
THE PAINTING HAS BEEN RELINED.
IT'S HAD ANOTHER PIECE OF
FABRIC GLUED ON THE BACK TO
STRENGTHEN IT, NOT UNUSUAL
FOR OLD PICTURES.
BUT THIS COULD BE HIDING
POTENTIAL CLUES ON THE ORIGINAL
CANVAS.
USING A SPECIAL CAMERA AVIVA
HOPES INFRARED RADIATION WILL
PENETRATE THROUGH THE RE-LINING
TO REVEAL ANYTHING THAT MIGHT
HELP OUR CASE.

Aviva says SO FAR I CAN'T SEE
ANYTHING.
I DIDN'T WANT TO GET YOUR HOPES
UP, BUT IT'S NOT LOOKING VERY
PROMISING.

Philip says WELL, I DON'T KNOW
ABOUT YOU, NICKY, BUT I CAN
SEE SOMETHING VERY FAINT THERE.
WHAT DO YOU THINK, NICKY?

Nicky says YES, THERE ARE A FEW
MARKS RIGHT ACROSS THE MIDDLE
HERE, ISN'T THERE?

Philip says YEAH.

Nicky says IT DOESN'T LOOK
TERRIBLY DEFINITIVE.

Philip says NO JOY SO FAR.
ALL WE CAN SEE IS A FAINT
SMUDGE ON THE ORIGINAL CANVAS.

Aviva says THERE'S ONE OTHER
TECHNIQUE I CAN THINK OF.
WE CAN ACTUALLY SHINE THE LIGHT
THROUGH FROM BEHIND THE
PICTURE, TRANSMITTED INFRARED,
AND SOMETIMES BECAUSE THE
GROUND ISN'T THERE TO STOP THE
INFRARED RADIATION TO REFLECT
IT WE MIGHT GIVE THIS TECHNIQUE
A BETTER CHANCE OF SEEING
SOMETHING.

Philip says NO PRESSURE,
AVIVA, BUT WE'RE RUNNING OUT
OF PLACES TO LOOK FOR CLUES.
WELL, I CAN SEE CLEAR AS A
BELL, WHAT LOOKS LIKE LETTERS.

Nicky says OH, SOME.
OH, MY GOD, YES.
THERE.

Philip says SQUARE BY SQUARE,
AN INFRARED IMAGE APPEARS ON
THE SCREEN.
BUT WHAT HAVE WE UNCOVERED?

Nicky says THAT'S SOME REALLY
WONDERFUL DETECTIVE WORK,
ISN'T IT?

Aviva says THERE'S SOME
LETTERS.
THERE'S SOME LETTERS COMING UP.

Nicky says IT'S EXTRAORDINARY.

Aviva says ISN'T IT?
IT'S SO GOOD.

Philip says IT'S A STAMP.

Nicky says YES, IT IS.

Philip says THE LETTERS ARE AS
CLEAR AS A BELL, AREN'T THEY?

Aviva says IT'S A CANVAS.
IT'S A CANVAS STAMP.

Nicky says THIS IS INCREDIBLY
EXCITING, ISN'T IT?
I MEAN ISN'T THIS JUST EXACTLY
WHAT WE'RE LOOKING FOR?

Philip says WE'LL SEE.
AVIVA TAKES SOME TIME RESEARCH
THE STAMP.
SHE'S GOT SOME NEWS FOR US.
SO WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE
TO ESTABLISH?

Aviva says OKAY, SO FIRSTLY
THIS IS THE WHOLE IMAGE IN
TRANSMITTED INFRARED LIGHT SO
YOU CAN SEE THE STAMP THAT'S
QUITE BIG, ACTUALLY, IS RIGHT
UNDER THE BOAT OR IT'S UNDER
THE MAST OF THE BOAT.
AND IF WE FLIP IT AROUND YOU
CAN SEE THAT WE CAN READ IT IS
INDEED A STENCILLED MANUFACTURER
STAMP.
DEFORGE CARPENTIER WHO WERE
VERY FAMOUS ARTIST SUPPLIERS.
AND IT'S 6 RUE HALEVY 6, PARIS.

Philip says HOW FAB.
EVERYTHING WE NEED SHORT OF AN
EMAIL ADDRESS.
SO THIS IS ASTONISHING.
SO YOU'VE GOT HERE THE EXACT
NAME AND ADDRESS OF THE
SUPPLIER.

Aviva says YES, IT'S REMARKABLE.
AND WHAT'S INTERESTING IS THAT
THIS ADDRESS IS QUITE SPECIFIC
TO A PARTICULAR DATE FOR DEFORGE
CARPENTIER.
THEY CHANGE THEIR STAMP.
AND THANKS TO A FORMER
POST-DOCTORAL FELLOW HERE AT THE
COURTAULD, PASCAL LABREUCHE,
THERE'S A DATABASE OF ALL
STAMPS, WHICH YOU CAN SEE HERE
FROM DIFFERENT TIME PERIODS.
I WONDER IF YOU CAN SEE WHICH
ONE IS THE CLOSEST TO WHAT
WE'VE SEEN.
YES, THAT ONE LOOKS VERY CLOSE.

Philip says THAT'S A DEAD
RINGER.

Nicky says IT'S EXACTLY THE
SAME.

Aviva says IT IS INDEED.

Philip says AND WHAT DO WE KNOW
ABOUT THAT LABEL AT THAT TIME?

Aviva says WELL, THIS IS A LABEL
WHICH WAS ONLY SPECIFICALLY
USED BETWEEN THE DATES OF 1871
AND 1879 WHERE THEY'RE AT THIS
SPECIFIC ADDRESS IN PARIS.

Nicky says WHAT IS OUR PICTURE?

Philip says 1874.
IF IT'S BY RENOIR, WHICH I THINK
THIS HELPS US TO CONCLUDE EVEN
MORE.
I MEAN IT'S A WONDERFUL PIECE
OF EVIDENCE.

Aviva says IT IS AMAZING.
CERTAINLY THE RIGHT DATE RANGE
BUT, FURTHERMORE, THIS IN
FACT IS A STAMP THAT IS ON THE
BACK OF A PAINTING IN THE MUSEE
D'ORSAY BY RENOIR FROM THE SAME
SUPPLIER FROM 1873 SIGNED
RENOIR.

Nicky says I DON'T BELIEVE IT.

Aviva says SO WE CAN SAY, WE
CAN NOW TIE TOGETHER THAT
PARTICULAR SUPPLIER WITH
RENOIR'S PAINTING.

Philip says NOW WE'VE GOT A
SORT OF STAMP OF APPROVAL THAT
PUTS US BANG IN THE DATE WE
WANT TO BE IN.

Aviva says YES, AND CONNECTED
WITH RENOIR.

Philip says PROGRESS.

Nicky says THAT'S INCREDIBLE.
THAT IS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING.

Aviva says IT IS, IT IS.
IT'S REALLY EXCITING.
IT'S A REALLY EXCITING
DISCOVERY.

Nicky says OH, MY GOD.
SO, ANYWAY, WHO ELSE COULD HAVE
DONE IT IF IT WASN'T HIM?

Philip says WELL, I MEAN, I AGREE
WITH YOU.
I MEAN, IT'S... IT'S ABSURD TO
SUPPOSE THAT BLANCHE MONET
COULD HAVE DONE IT.
SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN, WHAT,
ABOUT 9 YEARS OLD AT THE TIME?

Nicky says AND THAT'S
RIDICULOUS.

Aviva says YOU'D HAVE TO BE
QUITE CYNICAL TO BELIEVE THAT.

Philip says SO BLANCHE COULDN'T
HAVE PAINTED OUR PICTURE, BUT
I WANT TO BE SURE RENOIR IS
STILL FIRMLY IN THE FRAME SO
I'VE ASKED FOR ANOTHER OPINION.
ANTHEA CALLEN IS ONE OF THE
WORLD LEADING EXPERTS ON
IMPRESSIONISM.
FOR OVER FOUR DECADES, SHE'S
WRITTEN AND LECTURED ON
IMPRESSIONIST TECHNIQUES AND
HAS PARTICULAR EXPERTISE IN
RENOIR.
IF ANTHEA GIVES OUR PAINTING
HER BLESSING THEN IT WILL
GREATLY STRENGTHEN OUR CASE,
BUT IF SHE FINDS A PROBLEM,
WE COULD BE IN TROUBLE.

Fiona says DESPITE THE SERENE
APPEARANCE OF THIS PAINTING
WE'VE HAD SOME CHOPPY WATER
WITH IT.
WHAT DO
YOU
MAKE OF IT?

Anthea is in her fifties, with short straight blond hair in a side part. She wears jeans, a white top, a black jacket and a red scarf.

Anthea says MMM.
YOU KNOW THERE ARE, I THINK,
DIFFICULTIES WITH IT.
THE PROPORTIONS OF THE PICTURE,
THE PROPORTIONS OF THE OBJECT
IN THE PICTURE ARE AWKWARD IN
PLACES.
IN PARTICULAR, THE LARGER BOAT
ON THE RIGHT HERE WHICH IS OUR
KIND OF KEY FOCUS IN THE
COMPOSITION IS RATHER LARGE IN
RELATION TO THE LITTLE BOATS
IN THE BACKGROUND, SO THERE'S
THIS VERY SUDDEN JUMP FROM
FOREGROUND TO BACKGROUND.
AND THE LITTLE FIGURE THERE IS
ALSO RATHER TOO LARGE FOR THE
SIZE OF THE SAILING BOAT.
AND BECAUSE IT'S SO THINLY
PAINTED IT HAS A REAL FEEL OF
BEING UNRESOLVED, UNFINISHED.
BUT THAT MAY BE INTENTIONAL.
I MEAN I WOULDN'T NECESSARILY
ASSUME THAT THIS IS ANYTHING
MORE THAN A STUDY, A PREPARATORY
STUDY PERHAPS, BUT MORE LIKELY
AN EXERCISE WHERE THE ARTIST IS
LEARNING HOW TO PAINT EN PLEIN
AIR, OUTSIDE IN THE LANDSCAPE,
SO ACTUALLY VERY DIFFICULT TO
DO.

Philip says ANTHEA, YOU ARE AN
ESTABLISHED RENOIR EXPERT, IF
YOU WERE ON THE WILDENSTEIN
COMMITTEE AND YOU WERE
PRESENTED WITH THIS COLD HOW
WOULD YOU RESPOND?

Anthea says WELL I WOULD
THINK THAT IT'S NOT A GREAT
PAINTING.
BUT I WOULD, NEVERTHELESS,
THINK IT WAS A RENOIR.

Fiona says PHEW!
'COS IT LOOKED LIKE IT WASN'T
GOING TO GO THAT WAY FOR A
MINUTE.
SO YOU THINK IT IS A RENOIR,
BUT I THINK IT'S A RATHER POOR
RENOIR?

Anthea says YES.
RENOIR DID PRODUCE A LOT OF
SECOND-RATE PAINTINGS IN
ADDITION TO BEING A GENIUS.

Fiona says DO YOU THINK THAT'S
THE CRUX OF THE PROBLEM WITH
THIS PAINTING THEN BECAUSE WE
ARE GRAPPLING WITH TRYING TO
UNDERSTAND WHY BERNHEIM-JEUNE
HAVE LISTED IT IN THEIR
CATALOGUE RAISONNE, BUT THE
WILDENSTEIN'S DON'T WANT TO
INCLUDE IT IN THEIR CATALOGUE
CRITIQUE.
DO YOU THINK THAT'S WHAT THE
PROBLEM IS?

Anthea says WELL, IT DOES
HAVE A CONVINCING PEDIGREE AND,
QUITE FRANKLY, I DON'T SEE ANY
REASON TO DOUBT THE
BERNHEIM-JEUNE ATTRIBUTION.

Philip says BUT THEY HAVE SO
WHY DO YOU SPECULATE THAT
THEY'VE TURNED IT DOWN?

Anthea says RIVALRY.

Fiona says DO YOU THINK THAT'S
WHAT IT COMES DOWN TO?

Anthea says I THINK IT
PROBABLY DOES, YES.

Fiona says THAT'S A PRETTY POOR
REASON, ISN'T IT?

Anthea says MMM.

Philip says HAVE YOU COME
ACROSS THIS BEFORE IN THE ART
WORLD?

Anthea says NO.
RIVALRY IN THE ART WORLD?!
[chuckling]

Fiona says THE DISAGREEMENT
BETWEEN THESE TWO GREAT ART
HOUSES IS SOMETHING WE'VE GOT
TO CONFRONT, SO I'M HEADING
BACK TO PARIS.
I'M ON MY WAY TO THE
BERNHEIM-JEUNE GALLERY, ONCE
ONE OF RENOIRS' MOST TRUSTED
DEALERS.
THEIR DESCENDANTS HAVE CARRIED
ON THE FAMILY LEGACY, TAKING
THREE DECADES OF PAINSTAKING
RESEARCH TO PRODUCE THEIR
5-VOLUME RENOIR CATALOGUE
RAISONNE.
I'M KEEN TO KNOW HOW THEY'LL
REACT WHEN I TELL THEM THE
WILDENSTEIN INSTITUTE HAVE
REJECTED A PAINTING THAT
THEY'VE LISTED AS GENUINE.
I'M HERE TO MEET GUY-PATRICE
DAUBERVILLE ONE OF THE AUTHORS
OF THE RENOIR CATALOGUE
RAISONNE AND A DESCENDANT OF
BERNHEIM-JEUNE.
NOW THIS IS ONE OF THE GRANDEST
OF THE FRENCH ART HOUSES, AND
GENERALLY THEY DON'T GRANT
INTERVIEWS.
THEY KEEP THEIR SECRETS CLOSE.
VERY UNUSUALLY HE HAS SAID
HE'LL SEE ME, BUT HE WON'T LET
US FILM THE MEETING.
THESE ART HOUSES THEY DO NOT
LIKE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THEIR
SYSTEMS AND PROCESS AND
CERTAINLY NOT ABOUT THEIR
CATALOGUE RAISONNE SO IT COULD
BE QUITE A PRICKLY MEETING.

(music plays)

Fiona says THE MEETING GOES ON FOR A TENSE
HOUR BEFORE I EMERGE A LITTLE
WISER AS TO WHAT'S GOING ON,
AND IT DOESN'T BODE WELL FOR
NICKY'S PAINTING.
WELL, THE FRENCH ARE THE
MASTERS OF DIPLOMATIC SMALL
TALK, BUT NOT IN THAT MEETING.
I MEAN THE DAUBERVILLES REALLY
DROPPED THEIR GUARD AND WHEN I
ASKED THEM "WHY WOULD THE
WILDENSTEIN INSTITUTE NOT
ACCEPT A PAINTING THAT IS IN
THE BERNHEIM-JEUNE CATALOGUE?"
MISTER DAUBERVILLE SAID THEY'D BE
THRILLED TO TURN IT DOWN.
"RAVI," THEY'D BE THRILLED TO
TURN IT DOWN.
SO THERE WAS A REAL BITTERNESS
THERE, AND THE RIVALRY BETWEEN
THE TWO GREAT HOUSES OF
WILDENSTEIN AND BERNHEIM-JEUNE,
IS NOW OUT IN THE OPEN AND,
I HAVE TO SAY, IT'S UGLY.
AT A NEARBY CAFE I'M TAKING A
MOMENT TO REFLECT ON WHAT WAS
QUITE A MEETING.
I THINK THE ONE THING THAT CAME
OUT LOUD AND CLEAR, FROM THAT
MEETING WITH GUY-PATRICE
DAUBERVILLE AND HIS DAUGHTER,
IS PRIDE.
PRIDE IN THE HERITAGE OF
BERNHEIM-JEUNE, PRIDE IN THEIR
CATALOGUE RAISONNE.
THEY HAVE NO DOUBT THAT NICKY'S
PAINTING IS AUTHENTIC, IT'S
HERE IN THEIR CATALOGUE, BUT
WHAT THEY ALSO DID AND I CANNOT
TELL YOU HOW RARE THIS, IS THEY
SHOWED US THEIR LEDGER AND THAT
IS THEIR LEDGER FROM 1937 AND
IT DETAILS WHEN THEY BOUGHT
THIS PAINTING FROM BLANCHE
HORSHEDE MONET ON THAT DATE,
AND IT HAS A PICTURE OF THE
PAINTING AS WELL.
THESE ART HOUSES NEVER LET
PEOPLE SEE THEIR LEDGERS, BUT
THEY HAVE LET US SEE THIS
BECAUSE THAT IS HOW PASSIONATE
THEY ARE ABOUT THIS PAINTING.
AND THAT IT IS GENUINE.
IN THEIR MINDS IT SHOULDN'T
EVEN BE QUESTIONED.
IT'S IN THEIR CATALOGUE
RAISONNE, AND THAT'S THE END
OF THE STORY.

(music plays)

Fiona says BACK IN LONDON NICKY HAS BEEN
BUSY AT WORK IN HER STUDIO.
WE NEED TO INTERRUPT HER
BECAUSE GUY-PATRICE DAUBERVILLE
SAID SOMETHING THAT'S BEEN
TROUBLING ME.
WHAT HE TOLD ME COULD PLACE
OUR ENTIRE INVESTIGATION IN
JEOPARDY.
WE'RE HEADING TO SEE NICKY FOR
A FRANK AND HONEST CHAT.

Nicky says HI THERE.
HELLO.

Philip says HELLO.

Fiona says IT WAS QUITE A TRICKY
MEETING WITH BERNHEIM-JEUNE.
THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT THEY HAVE
ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBTS ABOUT YOUR
PAINTING.
WHAT THEY SAID TO ME, AND THIS
IS WHY I WANT TO TALK TO YOU
TODAY, WAS THAT BY US MAKING
THIS PROGRAM AND PUBLICIZING
THE FACT THAT THERE IS A
DIFFERENCE OF OPINION BETWEEN
THE WILDENSTEIN INSTITUTE AND
BERNHEIM-JEUNE AS TO THE
AUTHENTICITY OF YOUR PAINTING
WE WOULD MAKE IT HARDER FOR
YOU TO SELL IT.

Nicky says OH, MY GOD.

Fiona says AND THAT WE MIGHT BE
DAMAGING YOUR PAINTING BY
PUBLICIZING THIS DISPUTE,
IF YOU LIKE.

Nicky says WHAT ABOUT THE ROUTE
OF TRYING TO PERSUADE THE
WILDENSTEIN'S THAT IT IS WHAT
WE THINK IT IS, OR HOPE IT IS?

Fiona says THAT HAS ALWAYS BEEN,
FROM THE START WHAT WE WERE
GOING TO TRY AND DO, BUT WE FELT
WE HAD TO BE UP FRONT WITH YOU
AND SAY THIS IS WHAT THEY'RE
SAYING.

Nicky says YEAH, OF COURSE.

Fiona says AND THEREFORE DO WE
CARRY ON?

Nicky says IT'S VERY DIFFICULT
FOR ME TO SAY IMMEDIATELY.
I'D HAVE TO CONSULT THE OTHER
TRUSTEES.
I THINK AT THE END OF THE DAY
WE'VE GOT THIS PAINTING WHICH
HAS NO VALUE AS IT IS AT THE
MOMENT.

Fiona says I MEAN WHAT
BERNHEIM-JEUNE ARE SAYING ABOUT
YOU KNOW BY PUBLICIZING THE
DIFFICULTY AROUND THIS PAINTING
WE ARE DAMAGING IT.
YOUR PAINTING IS ALREADY
DAMAGED BECAUSE YOU'VE TRIED TO
SELL IT AND YOU CAN'T.

Nicky says YEAH.

Philip says IT'S NOT A PLEASANT
SITUATION, AND I THINK THE ONLY
THING THAT WE CAN REALLY
POSITIVELY DO IS JUST POINT OUT
CLEARLY ALL THE FACTS AS
OBJECTIVELY AS WE CAN AND LET
THE ART WORLD DECIDE.

Nicky says I HATE THE THOUGHT
THAT IT'S CAUGHT UP IN THE
MIDDLE OF THIS BECAUSE I'VE
ALWAYS ABSOLUTELY GENUINELY
FELT THIS PICTURE WAS REAL.
IT FITS WITH OUR FAMILY STORY,
AND JUST BY LOOKING AT IT
ACTUALLY THAT DAY ON THE SEINE,
YOU KNOW, SEEING THE PLACE IT
WAS PAINTED.
I REALLY FELT PART OF WHAT HE
WAS TRYING TO DO, AND I DON'T
LIKE THE THOUGHT THAT SOME
QUARREL IS GETTING IN THE WAY
OF THAT.
IT'S VERY DEPRESSING THAT
SIDE OF IT.

Fiona says NICKY HAS CONSULTED
WITH THE PICTON CASTLE TRUSTEES
TO DECIDE THE WAY FORWARD.
AFTER CAREFUL CONSIDERATION
THEY'VE AGREED TO SUBMIT THE
PAINTING TO THE WILDENSTEIN
INSTITUTE FOR RE-APPRAISAL.
THE PICTURE HAS BEEN SENT TO
PARIS SO THAT IT CAN BE
EXAMINED ONCE AGAIN BY THEIR
RENOIR COMMITTEE.
NICKY IS ON HER WAY TO DELIVER
OUR DOSSIER OF NEW EVIDENCE.

Nicky says I'M INCREDIBLY
NERVOUS BECAUSE THERE IS A LOT
AT STAKE.
THE CASTLE REALLY DEPENDS ON
THIS.
I SO WANT IT TO GO THE RIGHT
WAY.
IT'S VERY, VERY IMPORTANT FOR
US.

Philip says WE'VE DONE ALL THAT
WE CAN.
BUT IS IT ENOUGH TO CHANGE THE
MINDS OF THE WILDENSTEIN
INSTITUTE?
WE HAVE ONE AGONIZING WEEK TO
WAIT.

(music plays)

Fiona says AT LAST WE HAVE A
DECISION FROM THE RENOIR
COMMITTEE.
NICKY IS ON HER WAY TO MEET US,
AND WE'RE ALL ABOUT TO DISCOVER
WHETHER THE WILDENSTEIN
INSTITUTE HAVE ACCEPTED THE
PAINTING AS A GENUINE WORK BY
PIERRE AUGUSTE RENOIR.

Philip says TO MY ABSOLUTE
SATISFACTION WE'VE PROVED THAT
THIS PICTURE IS BY RENOIR.
I MEAN WE'VE ESTABLISHED THAT
THERE IS A COMPANION PAINTING TO
IT, JUST AS AUNT GWEN SAID,
THAT IS BY MONET, HIS FRIEND.
WE'VE ESTABLISHED THAT THE
PIGMENTS IN IT ARE THE SAME AS
THOSE THAT HE USED IN THE 1870s
BY RENOIR'S OWN ACCOUNT.
WE'VE FOUND A HIDDEN STAMP ON
THE BACK THAT PROVES THAT THE
CANVAS COMES FROM HIS SUPPLIER
IN THE 1870s.
AND WE'VE GOT AN UNBROKEN PAPER
TRAIL THAT GOES RIGHT BACK TO
BLANCHE MONET.
IN ART WORLD TERMS THAT IS MORE
THAN ENOUGH EVIDENCE.
SURELY NOW THE WILDENSTEIN
INSTITUTE MUST ACCEPT THIS.

Fiona says I THINK WE'VE MADE
A COMPELLING CASE FOR THIS
PAINTING, BUT IT IS CAUGHT
BETWEEN THE PRIDE AND TRADITION
OF THESE TWO GRAND HOUSES, OF
BERNHEIM-JEUNE AND WILDENSTEIN.
AND I'M WORRIED IT'S NOT GOING
TO SURVIVE THAT CLASH OF
TITANS.
WHAT I SINCERELY HOPE IS THAT,
WITH OUR INVESTIGATION, THE
PAINTING IS ALLOWED TO SPEAK
FOR ITSELF AND SHINE.
HI, NICKY.

Nicky says HI.
OH, MY GOD.
THIS IT.
OH, I'VE JUST BEEN SO NERVOUS
I CAN'T TELL YOU.

Fiona says WELL, THIS IS THE
MOMENT WE'RE GOING TO FIND OUT
IF OUR INVESTIGATION AND ALL
OUR HARD WORK HAS PAID OFF.
JUST REMIND US WHAT'S AT STAKE
HERE, PHILIP.

Philip says WELL, WITH WHAT WE
NOW KNOW IF THE WILDENSTEIN
INSTITUTE AGREE TO ACCEPT THIS
PICTURE, I COULD SEE A MAJOR
DEALER OR AUCTION HOUSE NOW
SELLING IT FOR IN EXCESS OF
300,000 POUNDS.

Nicky says WOW.

Fiona says I MEAN THIS MEANS A
LOT TO YOU AND TO PICTON,
DOESN'T IT?

Nicky says HUGE.
IT'S REALLY HUGE THIS.
THE HOUSE NEEDS IT VERY BADLY.

Fiona holds an envelope and says I'VE GOT THE VERDICT
HERE.
OUR PARIS BASED RESEARCHER RANG
THROUGH TO THE WILDENSTEIN
INSTITUTE AND SPOKE TO THEM, AND
SHE HAS WRITTEN DOWN WHAT THEY
SAID.
SO, WE HAVEN'T SEEN THIS
EITHER.
ARE YOU READY?

Nicky says YES.

Fiona says THE RENOIR COMMITTEE
AT THE WILDENSTEIN INSTITUTE
WILL NOT ACCEPT THE PAINTING AS
AUTHENTIC, NOR WILL THEY INCLUDE
THE WORK IN THEIR CATALOGUE
CRITIQUE OF RENOIR.
THERE ARE 3 REASONS FOR THIS
DECISION.
THERE IS NO EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT
THE PROVENANCE OF THE PAINTING,
THERE'S NO DOCUMENTATION TO
PROVE THE WORK IS BY RENOIR.
THE PAINTING IS NOT SIGNED.
THE PAINTING IS WEAK.
EVEN IF THE WORK IS UNFINISHED
IT DOES NOT FIT WITH RENOIR'S
STYLE.
GOD, NICKY, I DON'T KNOW WHAT
TO SAY.

Nicky says I DON'T EITHER.
OH, I JUST FIND THAT ABSOLUTELY
EXTRAORDINARY.
THE DOSSIER WAS SO COMPLETE.

Philip says WE HAD A PERFECT
CASE.

Bendor says MMM.
I AGREE.
IT FEELS TO ME LIKE THEY'VE
BEEN LOOKING AT A DIFFERENT
PICTURE.
I JUST CAN'T SEE WHERE THEY'RE
COMING FROM.

Fiona says I JUST FEEL SO BAD
FOR YOU, NICKY.
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO NOW?

Nicky says WELL, I'LL HAVE TO
TAKE THE VERDICT BACK TO THE
TRUST AND LOOK INTO WHAT
AVENUES THERE ARE, IF ANY, THAT
WE COULD TAKE.

Fiona says BUT I GUESS MEANWHILE
THIS PICTURE WILL CONTINUE TO
HANG ON THE WALLS AT PICTON.

Nicky says YES, IT WILL.
ABSOLUTELY IT WILL.
I LOVE IT.
IT'S STILL A RENOIR TO ME AND
TO THE FAMILY, ACTUALLY.
WE ALL HAVE ALWAYS KNOWN IT TO
BE THAT, AND I STILL THINK
IT IS.
AND I DON'T CARE WHAT THESE
PEOPLE SAY, FRANKLY.

Philip says WHILST NICKY CAN
HOLD ONTO THE FACT THAT THE
PAINTING IS STILL LISTED AS
GENUINE IN THE BERNHEIM-JEUNE
CATALOGUE RAISONNE, WITHOUT THE
BACKING OF THE WILDENSTEIN
INSTITUTE IT WILL NOT BE
ACCEPTED FOR SALE BY THE MAJOR
INTERNATIONAL AUCTION HOUSES.

Fiona says I THINK THE DECISION
BY THE WILDENSTEIN INSTITUTE
DEFIES ALL LOGIC.
AND I BELIEVE HE ONLY THING
THAT WOULD HAVE SATISFIED THEM
AND PERSUADED THEM TO CHANGE
THEIR MIND WAS IF WE HAD
MAGICALLY FOUND A LETTER FROM
RENOIR SAYING 'MY DEAR CLAUDE'
AS IN MONET, 'I GIVE YOU THIS
PAINTING AS, I DON'T KNOW,
THANKS FOR MY STAY WITH YOU
AT ARGENTEUIL'.
I MEAN, HONESTLY, I THINK THAT'S
THE ONLY THING THAT WOULD HAVE
DONE IT AND, AS YOU KNOW, THAT
KIND OF DOCUMENTATION IS
VANISHINGLY RARE.

Philip says I'M GENUINELY
DISAPPOINTED WITH THE
WILDENSTEIN INSTITUTE.
YOU KNOW WHO'S THE LOSER?
OF COURSE NICKY IS THE LOSER,
SO IS, OF COURSE, RENOIR I MEAN
BECAUSE THIS WAS AN IMPORTANT
LITTLE PAINTING DOCUMENTING THE
BEGINNING OF IMPRESSIONISM.
IT STILL IS.
BUT THESE ARE THE RULES OF THE
ART MARKET AND, UNFORTUNATELY,
THIS TIME WE'VE LOST.
HOPEFULLY NEXT TIME WE'LL WIN.

Fiona says WE ASKED GUY
WILDENSTEIN TO COMMENT ON
MISTER DAUBERVILLE'S REMARKS THAT
THE WILDENSTEIN INSTITUTE
WOULD BE THRILLED TO TURN
DOWN A PAINTING WHICH WAS IN
THE BERNHEIM-JEUNE CATALOGUE.
MISTER WILDENSTEIN SAID "IF THE
OPINIONS IN EACH WORK,
CATALOGUE AND ARTICLE DIFFER
FROM ONE TO THE NEXT THIS
CONCERNS ONLY THE AUTHORS
THEMSELVES.
THESE DIFFERING OPINIONS, WHICH
ARE INHERENT TO ALL RESEARCH,
ALLOW FOR MUTUALLY RESPECTFUL
SCIENTIFIC DISCUSSION AND A
BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE
ARTIST IN QUESTION."

(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 Nicky Illis.

All3Media International.

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