Transcript: Fake or Fortune Series 7 - Episode 2 | Oct 14, 2020

Fast clip shows images of an art auction at Christie's. The auctioneer says AT 42 MILLION...

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

The auctioneer says SOLD! THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

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

Philip contemplates a painting and says THIS IS IT.

Fiona says 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.

Fiona Bruce is in her forties with shoulder length brown hair in a layered cut. She wears a patterned blue chiffon blouse and a long brown and blue necklace.

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 says TA-DAH!

A woman says OH, WOW!

Fiona says EVERY CASE IS PACKED WITH SURPRISE AND INTRIGUE.

A man says IS IT OR ISN'T IT A FREUD THEN?

Fiona says BUT NOT EVERY PAINTING IS QUITE WHAT IT SEEMS.

Philip says TWO ARTISTS, RATHER THAN ONE.

Fiona says IT'S A JOURNEY THAT CAN END IN JOY... THAT IS ENOUGH TO SUPPORT THE CONCLUSION THAT IT IS BY TOM ROBERTS!

A couple smiles and hugs.

Fiona says OR BITTER DISAPPOINTMENT.

A woman says I DON'T THINK IT'S A WORK BY GAUGUIN. I'M VERY SORRY.

Fiona says IN THIS EPISODE, WE TRAVEL TO FRANCE ON THE TRAIL OF ONE OF THE MOST RENOWNED ARTISTS OF THE 19TH CENTURY. COULD A SET OF DRAWINGS FOUND IN A GARDEN SHED... SO SHE KEPT THE SKETCH BOOKS IN THE SHED? SO JUST THERE?...TURN OUT TO BE BY HENRI DE TOULOUSE LAUTREC, FROM A TIME BEFORE THE SCANDALOUS PARISIAN YEARS? TWO LITTLE SKETCHBOOKS FROM HIS ARISTOCRATIC YOUTH. BUT WE HAVE A CHALLENGE ON OUR HANDS. WHAT DID THE TOULOUSE LAUTREC COMMITTEE SAY?

A bearded man says NO.

Fiona says TO CHANGE THE MINDS OF THE FRENCH COMMITTEE, WE'LL NEED POWERFUL EVIDENCE. FROM LAUTREC'S CHILDHOOD HOME...

Fiona shows Peter some framed drawings and says OH, YES.

Peter says THIS IS SURELY NOT A COINCIDENCE.

Fiona says AND DETAILED TECHNICAL ANALYSIS. (GASPING)

A bald man says GOSH, THAT IS PRETTY SOLID.

A young woman says WOW.

Fiona says BUT WITH THE DEADLINE LOOMING, WILL WE MANAGE TO MAKE OUR CASE IN TIME?

(theme song plays)

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

Fiona says ONE OF THE JOYS OF MAKING FAKE OR FORTUNE IS THE CHANCE TO VISIT BEAUTIFUL PLACES.

Philip says IT'S GOOD TO BE BACK IN FRANCE.

Fiona says ANOTHER CHANCE TO UNLEASH MY TERRIBLE FRENCH ON THE NATION.

Philip says OH, POOR FRANCE. IT'S NEVER READY FOR THAT. THIS IS A FIRST FOR US. A FRENCH OWNER, A FRENCH ARTIST, AND A PAINTER OF PARISIAN NIGHTLIFE, TOULOUSE LAUTREC.

Fiona says HENRI DE TOULOUSE LAUTREC IS FAMOUS FOR HIS ATMOSPHERIC DEPICTIONS OF THE PARISIAN UNDERWORLD. HIS HEIGHT, 5'1," AND SCANDALOUS BEHAVIOUR ALSO BROUGHT HIM NOTORIETY. BUT HE WAS BORN IN 1864 INTO A VERY DIFFERENT WORLD. LAUTREC WAS THE SON OF A COUNT OF TOULOUSE, FRENCH PROVINCIAL ARISTOCRACY. AND IT'S THIS WORLD THAT WE'RE ABOUT TO EXPLORE.

Philip says WE'VE TRAVELLED TO THE GLORIOUS CITY OF BORDEAU IN SOUTHWEST FRANCE TO MEET SOMEONE WHO THINKS THEY HAVE NOT ONE BUT POSSIBLY HUNDREDS OF WORKS BY TOULOUSE LAUTREC. WE WERE CONTACTED BY FAKE OR FORTUNE VIEWER AND BORDEAUX RESIDENT ELAINE CORNETT.

Elaine says HELLO.

Philip says HOW ARE YOU?

Elaine says VERY WELL.

Elaine is in her thirties, with straight brown hair in a bob cut and wears black jeans, and a black embellished sweater.

Philip says SHE WANTS US TO MEET HER FATHER-IN-LAW, ALAIN, A PSYCHOANALYST AND AUTHOR.

Alain says BIENVENUE EN FRANCE.

Alain is in his sixties, bald and with a thick gray beard. He wears glasses, black trousers and a black sweater.

Philip says SO THIS IS WHAT WE'VE COME TO SEE. NOW, I APPRECIATE IT'S NOT OUR NORMAL TYPE OF OIL PAINTING, IT'S NOT A FRAMED DRAWING. THESE ARE TWO SKETCHBOOKS THAT ARE HEAVING WITH DRAWINGS.

Fiona says WELL, LET'S HAVE A LOOK AT SOME OF THESE. THEY'RE SCENES FROM... IF THEY ARE TOULOUSE LAUTREC, SCENES FROM HIS LIFE, AREN'T THEY? THEY'RE BEAUTIFUL, AND THEY'RE DELICATE. THAT'S LOVELY, ISN'T IT? THAT PORTRAIT THERE. ILS SONT TRES BEAUX LES CROQUI, EST BELLE. HAVE YOU GOT ANY FAVOURITES AMONGST THESE?

Alain says YEAH, ICI, THIS HERE.

Alain shows them the drawing of a horse.

Fiona says OH, THAT IS LOVELY.

Philip says HERE'S THE RUB: THEY ARE SO DIFFERENT FROM THOSE... NIGHTLIFE, DECADENT PARISIAN SCENES THAT WE ASSOCIATE WITH HIM. IF THESE ARE TO BE BY TOULOUSE LAUTREC, THEN THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO BE FROM THE EARLY PART OF HIS CAREER WHILE HE WAS STILL LEARNING, WHILE HE WAS STILL IN HIS TEENS.

Fiona says AND IT'S THANKS TO YOU, ELAINE, THAT WE'RE SEEING THEM AT ALL.

Elaine says YES, I SUPPOSE. OBVIOUSLY I'M FAMILIAR WITH THE PROGRAMME, FAKE OR FORTUNE, AND I ENCOURAGED ALAIN TO SUBMIT A COUPLE OF SKETCHES AND REALLY, IT'S JUST GONE FROM THERE.

Philip says LET'S SEE WHAT WE CAN DO WITH YOUR SKETCHES.

(music plays)

Philip says ALAIN'S TWO LITTLE SKETCHBOOKS HAVE LOST THEIR HARD BINDINGS. TODAY, ONLY THE YELLOW END PAPERS REMAIN. THE FIRST BOOK CONTAINS FIGURES OF WOMEN, AS WELL AS BOATS IN PENCIL AND WATERCOLOUR. THE SECOND EXPLORES FURTHER THEMES: DOGS AND SOLDIERS AND SAILORS, FIGURES IN CRAYON AND INK, AND NUMEROUS IMAGES OF HORSES. FINALLY, THERE ARE LOOSE SCRAPS: A FRAGMENT FROM A LETTER, AND A PAGE OF INK DRAWINGS. SOME OF THE SKETCHES ARE DATED TO THE YEAR 1880.

Philip says LET'S GET STUCK IN, SHALL WE?

Fiona says RIGHT, WELL, FIRST OF ALL THEN, HOW DID YOU COME BY THESE SKETCHES?

Alain says C'EST MA GRANDMERE QUI ME LES A DONNE...

The translator says IT WAS MY GRANDMOTHER WHO GAVE THEM TO ME WHILE SHE WAS CLEARING OUT HER SHED.

Alain says DANS UNE REMIS.

Fiona says AND HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN SHE GAVE YOU THESE DRAWINGS? VOUS AVEZ QUELLE AGE?

Alain says OH, 15 YEARS OLD.

Fiona says DID SHE EVER TELL YOU HOW SHE GOT THESE, NO?

Alain says NO.

Fiona says ET VOUS ETIEZ PROCHE? YOU WERE CLOSE TO YOUR GRANDMOTHER?

The translator says VERY, VERY CLOSE. SHE WAS LIKE MY SECOND MOTHER.

Fiona says AND THOSE PHOTOGRAPHS THERE, ARE THEY... IS YOUR GRANDMOTHER IN ANY OF THOSE?

Alain says THAT'S MY GRANDMOTHER AND ME WITH MY TWO SISTERS IN TOULOUSE.

Philip says LOOKING VERY SERIOUS.

Fiona says TRES SERIEUSE. ALAIN GREW UP IN ALGERIA WITH HIS MOTHER, FATHER AND SISTERS, AS WELL AS HIS BELOVED GRANDMOTHER, LAURE. THEY CAME TO FRANCE IN THE EARLY 1960S, AND IN 1965, WHEN LAURE WAS LIVING IN ST. EMILION, SHE GAVE ALAIN THE TWO SKETCHBOOKS. AND YOU'VE KNOWN ABOUT THESE FOR SOME TIME THEN, ELAINE?

Elaine says WELL, I BECAME AWARE OF THE SKETCHES APPROXIMATELY THREE YEARS AGO, BECAUSE, WELL, FOR CLOSE ON 50 YEARS, I BELIEVE, ALAIN NEVER DID ANYTHING WITH THEM.

Philip says SO HALF A CENTURY YOU PUT OFF TRYING TO FIND OUT WHETHER THEY WERE THE REAL THING OR NOT.

Fiona says TEN YEARS AGO, ALAIN BEGAN TO WONDER IF THE INITIALS ON SOME PAGES OF THE SKETCHBOOKS MIGHT BE AN EARLY VERSION OF LAUTREC'S FAMOUS HTL MONOGRAM. ALAIN WAS ADVISED TO TAKE THE SKETCHBOOKS TO THE COMMITTEE IN PARIS WHO AUTHENTICATE ALL WORK BY TOULOUSE LAUTREC. AND WHAT DID THE TOULOUSE LAUTREC COMMITTEE SAY?

Alain says NO.

Fiona says NO.

Philip says DID THEY GIVE ANY REASONS, ANY JUSTIFICATION OR RATIONALE?

Alain says AUCUNE RAISON.

Fiona says NO REASON AT ALL. AND DID THE COMMITTEE SAY WHO THEY THOUGHT DID THESE SKETCHES?

The translator says LA COMITE, ILS ONT...

Alain says THE COMMITTEE INVITED MARGUERITE STAHL, WHO IS AN EXPERT ON THE ARTIST PRINCETEAU TO SEE THEM, AND SHE SAID IT'S PRINCETEAU.

Philip says AH, SO RENE PRINCETEAU, THE TUTOR OF THE YOUNG TOULOUSE LAUTREC, WHO PRESUMABLY INFLUENCED HIM VERY CLOSELY AND ONE CAN SEE WHY THEY MAY HAVE...

Alain says TEACHER AND FRIEND.

Fiona says SO YOU GOT LOTS OF DRAWINGS, VERY LITTLE EVIDENCE.

Philip says BUT WE'VE BEEN IN THIS SITUATION BEFORE, HAVEN'T WE? IF A COMMITTEE HAS TURNED THEM DOWN, WE HAVE TO GO BACK TO THEM WITH NEW EVIDENCE. WE HAVE TO FIND A DIFFERENT WAY OF PRESENTING THIS CASE. AND IT AIN'T GONNA BE EASY, PARTICULARLY AS WE'RE DEALING WITH JUVENILE WORKS.

Fiona says WELL, WE LIKE A CHALLENGE, AND WE'VE GOT ONE.

Philip says THESE SKETCHBOOKS ARE BOTH TANTALIZING, BUT THEY'RE ALSO COMPLICATED. I MEAN, THEY'RE TANTALIZING BECAUSE THIS IS JUST THE SORT OF THING YOU'D EXPECT TOULOUSE LAUTREC TO BE DOING AT AROUND ABOUT THIS DATE. I MEAN, WE KNOW THESE DRAWINGS WERE DONE IN AROUND ABOUT 1880. A COUPLE OF THEM ARE DATED. HE'S IN HIS TEENS, HE'S JUST GETTING GOING. I MEAN, LOOK AT THE EASE AND DEFTNESS WITH WHICH HE'S JUST PUT THE ESSENTIAL LINES OF THAT HORSE'S BODY, AND THOSE FLARING NOSTRILS, AND THAT COMPRESSED ENERGY THAT YOU GET AS IT COMES TOWARDS YOU, THEN THAT LEAPING ONE IN THE BACKGROUND. I MEAN, APART FROM ANYTHING ELSE, IT'S JUST A BEAUTIFUL, RATHER BEWITCHING DRAWING. PORTRAITS AS WELL, PARTICULARLY THOSE ERRING TOWARDS SLIGHT CARICATURE, FACES, YOU KNOW, THERE'S A SENSE OF SLIGHTLY UNSETTLING, SLIGHTLY UNUSUAL CHARACTER IN SOME OF THOSE FACES. BUT WE'VE NEVER DEALT WITH JUST SO MUCH MATERIAL BEFORE, AND IT SEEMS THAT THERE'S QUITE LIKELY TO BE CLUES RUNNING THROUGH THESE PAGES.

Fiona says BUT OF COURSE, THESE SKETCHES HAVE BEEN REJECTED BY THE TOULOUSE LAUTREC COMMITTEE. SO WHILE PHILIP IMMERSES HIMSELF IN THE ART, I'M HOPING ALAIN CAN TELL ME MORE ABOUT WHAT THE COMMITTEE SAID. ALAIN, IS THIS THE LETTER FROM THE COMITÉ TOULOUSE-LAUTREC? CE LA LETTRE, LA?

Alain says OUI, C'EST LA LETTRE, OUI.

Fiona says JE LA VOIR? CAN I SEE IT?

Alain says DONNE.

Fiona says OKAY, SO MOST OF THE DRAWINGS AND WATERCOLOURS IN YOUR SKETCHBOOKS WERE BY RENE PRINCETEAU, ACCORDING TO THE COMMITTEE, EXCEPT FOR... OKAY, THIS IS QUITE COMPLICATED. THEY THEN LIST HALF A DOZEN OR SO SKETCHES, BUT THEY DON'T SAY WHO THEY'RE BY.

Alain says NO, NO.

Fiona says THE WRITING ON THE SKETCHES IS PRINCETEAU'S WRITING. SO, WHEN YOU GOT THIS LETTER, YOU WERE HOPING FOR MORE EXPLANATION, MORE ANALYSIS, AND THERE IS NONE HERE.

Alain says RIEN.

The translator says NOTHING. THERE WAS NO ANALYSIS, I WAS IN THE SAME MOOD THEN AS I AM RIGHT NOW, TALKING TO YOU.

Fiona says FRUSTRATED? LA FRUSTRATION N'EST-CE PAS?

Alain says NON, NON. NO, NO, NO, THEY DON'T HAVE THE POWER TO FRUSTRATE ME.

Fiona says YOU WON'T LET THEM HAVE THAT POWER OVER YOU?

Alain says NO.

Fiona says WHAT DID YOU DO NEXT?

Alain says ER, M. CUVREAU... I MET M. CUVREAU. HE'S A PRINCETEAU EXPERT, AND I SHOWED HIM THE SKETCH BOOKS.

Fiona says ET QU'EST-CE QU'IL A DIT? WHAT DID HE SAY?

Alain says ET LUI IL A DIT QUE LES DESSINS N'ETAIT PAS TOUS...

The translator says HE SAID THE DRAWINGS WERE NOT ALL BY PRINCETEAU, AND SOME WERE, IN FACT, MUCH BETTER. THE EXPRESSION HE USED WAS "BY A BETTER HAND."

Alain says IL Y EN A DE MEILLEUR MAIN.

Fiona says IF WE DO MANAGE TO PROVE THAT YOU HAVE GOT SOME SKETCHES BY TOULOUSE LAUTREC, WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO WITH THEM?

Alain says OUI JE LES VENDRAI...

The translator says YES, I'D SELL THEM. MIGHT KEEP TWO OR THREE, BUT I WOULDN'T SELL THEM IN FRANCE.

Fiona says YOU'RE SO FED UP WITH THE REACTION YOU'VE HAD HERE? OKAY, WELL, WE'VE GOT SOME WORK TO DO, TO TRY AND CHANGE THE MIND OF THE COMITÉ.

The translator says YOU'LL HAVE MORE LUCK THAN ME SURELY, SURELY.

Philip says PART OF THE PROBLEM HERE, IN FACT, PROBABLY THE MAIN PROBLEM, IS THAT WE HAVE AN ARM-WRESTLE. THE COMMITTEE HAVE TURNED THEM DOWN, AND NOT ONLY HAVE THEY TURNED THEM DOWN, BUT THEY'VE DONE SO WITH A CERTAIN TYPE OF JUSTIFICATION. THEY'VE SAID THEY'RE NOT BY TOULOUSE LAUTREC, THEY'RE BY RENE PRINCETEAU. SO NOT ONLY HAVE WE GOT TO GET THEM TO SEE THEM IN A MORE POSITIVE LIGHT, BUT WE'VE GOT TO GET THEM TO CHANGE THEIR MIND. I KNOW FROM EXPERIENCE THAT IS SO DIFFICULT IN THE ART BUSINESS. BUT THE STAKES FOR ALAIN ARE ENORMOUS. I MEAN, IF THESE ARE BY TOULOUSE LAUTREC, YOU KNOW, THAT GREAT AVANT GARDE PAINTER, I COULD SEE THEM IN AN EXHIBITION, I COULD SEE-- I COULD SEE ABOUT A MILLION POUNDS WORTH OF DRAWINGS HERE ON THE WALL. BUT RENE PRINCETEAU, THE ART WORLD HASN'T REALLY HEARD OF HIM. WE COULD BE TALKING 10,000 POUNDS.

(music plays)

Philip says TO BEGIN THE INVESTIGATION, I'VE COME TO THE TOWN WERE LAUTREC WAS BORN: ALBI, IN SOUTHERN FRANCE. I REALLY NEED TO UNDERSTAND LAUTREC'S WORK IN MORE DETAIL. AND THE MUSEE TOULOUSE LAUTREC, FOUNDED BY HIS MOTHER, HOUSES A HUGE COLLECTION OF HIS WORK. TOULOUSE LAUTREC APPROACHED THE WORLD AROUND HIM WITH A SENSE OF DYNAMISM, ENERGY AND HUMOUR THAT HAS TRANSFORMED THE WAY THAT WE SEE THINGS. AND WHAT PARTICULARLY EXCITED THE MATURE TOULOUSE LAUTREC WAS DIMLY LIT, LATE NIGHT PARIS. A PLACE OF BROTHELS, THEATRES, NIGHTCLUBS. HE HAD THIS EXTRAORDINARY CAPACITY TO FREEZE FRAME THE MOMENT OF DRAMA USING LITHOGRAPHY AND THE MEDIUM OF THE POSTER. AND IT'S PARTLY THROUGH HIS TECHNIQUES TO ABBREVIATE AND EXAGGERATE WHERE NECESSARY, AREAS AND PLANES OF THE SAME COLOUR, THIS WONDERFULLY SWIFT LINE. BUT WHAT UNDERPINS ALL OF TOULOUSE LAUTREC'S ART IS THIS EMPATHY, THIS ATTACHMENT TO HIS SUBJECT MATTER. AND I THINK THAT WITHIN LAUTREC'S FAMOUS POSTER FROM 1891, YOU CAN SEE CONNECTIONS WITH ALAIN'S SKETCHBOOKS. THE DRAMATIC POSES OF THE WOMEN, THE FASCINATION WITH FACES IN PROFILE, AND THAT ABILITY TO CAPTURE MOVEMENT AND GESTURE. I MEAN YES, IT'S MORE DEVELOPED HERE, BUT SURELY ONE CAN SEE SOMETHING LIKE THAT IN EMBRYO IN ALAIN'S SKETCHBOOK. AND THERE'S FURTHER EVIDENCE HERE: A WHOLE GALLERY OF JUVENILE WORK. IT'S RARE FOR SO MUCH OF IT TO SURVIVE, BUT LAUTREC WAS AN UNUSUAL TEENAGER. IN 1878, AGED 13, HE FELL AND BROKE HIS LEFT LEG. THE NEXT YEAR, HE BROKE HIS RIGHT LEG. AFTER THAT, THEY STOPPED GROWING. IN PAIN, OFTEN IMMOBILE, HE DREW ALMOST CONSTANTLY, AND HIS TALENT BECAME EVIDENT. BY 1880, LAUTREC WAS PAINTING MANY OF THE SUBJECTS FOUND IN ALAIN'S SKETCHBOOKS. HE WAS PARTICULARLY SKILLED AT HORSES, BUT ALSO SOLDIERS, DOGS, AND PORTRAITS. IT'S AN ENCOURAGING START, A SENSE THAT ALAIN'S SKETCHBOOKS, AT THE VERY LEAST, COME FROM THE SAME WORLD AS TOULOUSE LAUTREC.

(music plays)

Fiona says AS PHILIP GETS TO GRIPS WITH LAUTREC'S STYLE, I WANT TO INVESTIGATE THE PROVENANCE OF ALAIN'S ALBUMS. I'VE COME TO THE TOWN OF SAINT-EMILION, FAMED FOR ITS WINE, AND NOT FAR FROM BORDEAUX. IT WAS HERE THAT ALAIN'S GRANDMOTHER GAVE HIM THE SKETCHBOOKS WHEN HE WAS JUST 15 YEARS OLD. SO, THIS IS WHERE YOUR GRANDMOTHER LIVED AT SAINT-EMILION?

Alain says OUI.

Fiona says AND WHERE WAS HER HOUSE? CETAIT OU SA MAISON?

The translator says IT WAS THERE, JUST HERE.

Fiona says SO IT WAS ON THIS SIDE OF THE WALL?

Alain says WELL, YOU HAVE TO GO OVER THE TOP.

Fiona says AH, I SEE, JUST OVER THERE.

Alain says AND OVER THERE WAS A SHED.

Fiona says ET LES CARNETS, THE SKETCHBOOKS?

Alain says THAT'S WHERE I DISCOVERED THE SKETCHBOOKS. THAT'S WHERE SHE HAD THEM.

Fiona says SO, SHE KEPT THE SKETCHBOOKS IN THE SHED? SO JUST THERE? SO, YOU LIVED IN ALGERIA WITH YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR GRANDMOTHER?

Alain says MY FATHER, GRANDFATHER, GRAND-GRANDFATHER, GRAND-GRAND-GRANDFATHER.

(music plays)

Fiona says ALAIN'S GRANDMOTHER, LAURE, WAS BORN IN ALGERIA, THEN A FRENCH COLONY, IN 1903. SHE MARRIED AND GAVE BIRTH TO ALAIN'S MOTHER WHEN SHE WAS 20. FOR ALAIN'S FAMILY, ALGERIA WAS HOME. BUT IN 1954, THE ALGERIAN WAR OF INDEPENDENCE BEGAN. (CROWD SHOUTING) BY THE EARLY '60S, IT WAS CLEAR THEY WOULD HAVE TO LEAVE, AND THEY JOINED THE THOUSANDS OF REFUGEES FLEEING TO FRANCE. BUT THEY MET WITH A HOSTILE RECEPTION IN MAINLAND FRANCE, WHERE THEY WERE KNOWN AS "PIEDS NOIRS" OR "BLACK FEET." IT WAS PARTICULARLY TRAUMATIC FOR THE 12-YEAR-OLD ALAIN.

The translator says WE FIRST LEFT ALGERIA IN 1962.

Alain says DANS UN, DANS UN BANANIER.

Fiona says IN A BANANA BOAT?

Alain says YES, THERE WERE 2,000 OF US. ON ETAIT DEUX MILLE. A TOULOUSE J'ETAIT... IN TOULOUSE I WAS PUT IN QUARANTINE, SO NO ONE SPOKE TO ME FOR A MONTH, 30 DAYS. THEN, WE CAME TO SAINT-EMILION.

Fiona says ALAIN'S FAMILY STORY MAKES THE ORIGINS OF THE SKETCHBOOKS PARTICULARLY MYSTERIOUS, BECAUSE JUST THREE YEARS AFTER THEIR ARRIVAL FROM ALGERIA, ALAIN'S GRANDMOTHER PULLED A BOX OUT OF HER SHED AND PRODUCED FROM IT THE TWO LITTLE SKETCHBOOKS. WHERE DO YOU THINK YOUR GRANDMOTHER MIGHT HAVE GOT THESE SKETCHBOOKS?

The translator says ME, I'VE STARTED TO THINK THAT THEY MUST HAVE COME FROM PARIS. SHE LIVED IN RUE DU FAUBOURG, ST. HONORE.

Fiona says ALAIN'S GRANDMOTHER LIVED IN PARIS IN THE LATE 1920S. FOR SOME OF THAT TIME, SHE LIVED IN THE VERY STREET WHERE TOULOUSE LAUTREC HAD STAYED DURING HIS EARLY VISITS TO PARIS, AND WHERE HIS ART TEACHER, PRINCETEAU, HAD HIS STUDIO. SHE LIVED THERE AFTER TOULOUSE LAUTREC DIED?

Alain says OUI.

Fiona says SO HOW COULD SHE HAVE GOT THE SKETCHBOOKS?

The translator says NO, BECAUSE SHE WORKED AS A CLEANER.

Fiona says SO, YOU'RE THINKING IT'S POSSIBLE THAT SHE MIGHT HAVE FOUND THE SKETCHBOOKS?

Alain says WELL, IT'S POSSIBLE.

Fiona says OR MAYBE SOMEONE GAVE THEM TO HER HERE IN SAINT-EMILION? SO, LET'S THINK. THERE'S THREE WAYS THAT MAYBE SHE COULD HAVE GOT HOLD OF THESE. ONE, WHEN SHE WAS A CONCIERGE AND A CLEANER IN PARIS IN THE SAME STREET WHERE TOULOUSE LAUTREC LIVED, SHE MIGHT HAVE FOUND THE CARNET BECAUSE IT'S... HE LEFT THINGS BEHIND. SO, THAT'S ONE THEORY.

Alain says OUI.

Fiona says SHE WAS GIVEN THEM BY SOMEONE HERE, AT SAINT-EMILION...

Alain says SECOND THEORY.

Fiona says OR POSSIBLY, BUT LESS LIKELY...

Alain says OUI.

Fiona says SHE FOUND THEM IN THE SHED HERE, DANS LA RUIS. ET, EVIDENCE POUR LE THEORY?

The translator says THE FACTS... THE FACTS ARE ME! (LAUGHING)

Fiona says SO, YOU ARE THE ONLY FACT THAT REMAINS, AND THE SHED, LA REMISE, C'EST TOUT!

Alain says THAT'S ALL! (BOTH LAUGHING)

(music plays)

Philip says WITH SO LITTLE TO GO ON, I NEED TO KNOW IF THE SKETCHES CAN SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES. I'VE COME TO PARIS TO MEET UP WITH PROFESSOR ANTHEA CALLEN, AN EXPERT ON LATE 19TH CENTURY FRENCH ART.

Anthea is in her sixties, with short straight gray hair in an asymmetrical cut. She wears glasses, black jeans, a gray top, a black jacket and a printed scarf.

Philip says ANTHEA, WE'RE NOT USED TO THIS ON FAKE OR FORTUNE, QUITE SO MANY IMAGES. WE STARTED WITH 200. NOW, HOW CAN WE BOIL THIS DOWN INTO SOMETHING MANAGEABLE?

Anthea says MM, INTERESTING PROBLEM.

Philip says HMM.

Anthea says WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THESE IS THE REPETITION OF THEMES, THE REPETITION OF SUBJECT MATTER. SO THAT I THINK WE CAN PUT THEM TOGETHER, NOT BY, SAY, MEDIUM BUT RATHER BY THE SUBJECTS THAT HE'S LOOKING AT.

Philip says SO, WHERE DO WE START?

Anthea shows him pictures of the sketches on a screen and says WELL, I THINK WE SHOULD START WITH THE HORSES. WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Philip says I MEAN, THEY ARE SO GOOD, AREN'T THEY? THEY'RE SO ENERGETIC, THE FEELING OF MOVEMENT AND MUSCULATURE.

Anthea says AND THE WAY HE MOVES THE PENCIL ACROSS THE SURFACE, IT'S SO LIVELY AND VIGOROUS AND ANIMATED.

Philip says YOU COULD HEAR THE HOOVES, YOU COULD HEAR THE WHEELS TURNING, CAN'T YOU? OKAY, SO THAT DEALS WITH THE HORSES, WHAT ELSE?

Anthea says WHAT ABOUT OUR LADIES? I RATHER LIKE OUR LADIES. AREN'T THEY FABULOUS? WHEN WE LOOK CLOSE UP, LOOK AT THAT.

Philip says YEAH.

Anthea says THE COLOUR IS STUNNING, BUT ALSO THE LINE, EXAGGERATED AND WORKED OVER AND OVER AGAIN TO SUGGEST THIS VERY SENSUAL, KIND OF S CURVE IN THE FEMALE FORM.

Philip says THEY'RE SO STRIKING. DO YOU THINK THEY FORESHADOW, IF THESE ARE BY TOULOUSE LAUTREC, THE ARTIST THAT HE LATER BECOMES?

Anthea says CERTAINLY THE EXOTIC AND DELIGHTFUL, SENSUAL HANDLING IS SOMETHING THAT HE TAKES FORWARD AND DOES IN PARIS. SO, WHO KNOWS? WHAT ABOUT THIS CHARACTER HERE? ALTOGETHER, WE SEEM TO HAVE FIVE DRAWINGS OF THE SAME PERSON.

Philip says AND IN EVERY CASE, HE'S OPINING IN SOME WAY OR ANOTHER, ISN'T HE? HIS HAND IS UP IN A GESTURE OF ARTICULACY.

Anthea says YES, ALMOST IDENTICAL BETWEEN THE TWO DRAWINGS, AND THEN HERE AGAIN IN THE UPRIGHT DRAWING.

Philip says THIS ARTIST WAS PREOCCUPIED WITH THIS MAN.

Anthea says YES, DID HE KNOW HIM? WHO IS HE? CAN WE FIND OUT?

Philip says SO, WHAT ELSE? WHAT OTHER THINGS ARE OF INTEREST?

Anthea says THERE ARE LETTERS FROM THE PERIOD, THERE ARE INSCRIPTIONS. THIS ONE WITH ALL THE DIAGRAMS AND THE NUMBERS AND THE LETTERS, AND THIS INCREDIBLE ACCIDENT WITH TWO FIGURES THROWN OFF A CARRIAGE. AND WHAT IT SAYS UNDERNEATH, "CE QUI AURAIT MA ARRIVER," WHAT MIGHT HAVE HAPPENED TO ME.

Philip says SO, IF IT'S TOULOUSE LAUTREC, WHAT COULD THAT MEAN?

Anthea says WELL, HE HAD SEVERAL FALLS, TWO OF WHICH COST HIM BREAKAGES TO THE FEMUR. MAYBE HE WAS SAYING A MORE ROMANTIC WAY TO BREAK MY LEGS WOULD BE FALLING FROM A CARRIAGE.

Philip says HM.

Anthea says WE ALSO HAVE A DATE. 26TH OF SEPTEMBER, 1880. SO IT LOCATES US IN A SPECIFIC PERIOD, AND THERE ARE OTHER DRAWINGS WHERE DATES ARE USED.

Philip says SO, IT CAN OFFER, IN A WAY, THE SAME TYPE OF INSIGHTS AS A DIARY IN THAT RESPECT.

Anthea says EXACTLY, WELL, THAT'S EXACTLY, EFFECTIVELY, WHAT A SKETCHBOOK IS. IT'S RECORDING YOUR STORY OVER QUITE A LONG PERIOD POTENTIALLY.

Philip says SO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF ATTRIBUTION, USED CORRECTLY, A SKETCHBOOK CAN BE QUITE A GIFT.

Anthea says ABSOLUTELY.

(music plays)

Philip says BUT BEFORE WE CAN EXPLORE THE LAUTREC CONNECTION, WE NEED TO INVESTIGATE THE OTHER ARTIST IN THE FRAME, RENE PRINCETEAU. AND FIONA IS ON HIS TRAIL.

Fiona says RENE PRINCETEAU WAS BORN IN 1843, AND BECAME A SUCCESSFUL PAINTER OF SPORTING SUBJECTS, SPECIALIZING IN HORSES. I'M OFF TO MEET THE MAN WHO FIRST CAST DOUBT ON THE COMMITTEE'S VERDICT, A COLLECTOR OF PRINCETEAU, AND EXPERT ON HIS WORK: LOUIS CUVREAU. BONJOUR.

Louis is in his fifties, with short wavy gray hair and wears greay trousers and a moss green V-neck sweater.

Fiona says ALORS, C'EST LE CARNET DE MONSEUR PRINCETEAU? WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION WHEN YOU SAW ALAIN'S DRAWINGS?

Louis says EN VOYANT LES PORTRAITS...

The translator says SEEING THE PORTRAITS, I KNEW RIGHT AWAY THAT THEY WEREN'T BY PRINCETEAU. THEY LOOKED NOTHING LIKE PRINCETEAU.

Fiona says WHY ARE YOU SO SURE?

Louis says NO, MAIS J'AI LE REPERTORIER...

The translator says I'VE CATALOGUED ABOUT 2,000 SKETCHES BY PRINCETEAU IN THE PRIVATE COLLECTION OF HIS FAMILY. FOUR OR FIVE DRAWINGS OF HORSES ARE VERY CLOSE TO PRINCETEAU.

Fiona says NO MORE, JUST FOUR OR FIVE? THE SKETCHES THAT YOU THINK ARE CLOSE TO PRINCETEAU, ARE THEY MOSTLY OF HORSES?

Louis says CE SENT DES CHEVEAUX...

The translator says THEY ARE THE HORSES. THE SAILORS, IN MY OPINION, DON'T MATCH PRINCETEAU, NOR DO THE WATERCOLOURS.

Fiona says SO THIS IS A DRAWING OF PRINCETEAU ARRIVING IN PARIS WITH HIS PISTOL AND HIS... AND HIS EASEL HERE, WRAPPED UP. WHAT ABOUT THE WRITING?

Louis says J'AI UN METRE...

The translator says I HAVE TWO CUBIC METRES OF HIS LETTERS, AND AT NO POINT DOES ANY OF THE HANDWRITING CORRESPOND TO WHAT YOU HAVE IN THESE DRAWINGS.

Fiona says VERY PROMISING SO FAR, BUT M. CUVREAU HAS ANOTHER, RATHER UNSETTLING DETAIL TO REVEAL ABOUT TOULOUSE LAUTREC'S FATHER, ALPHONSE.

Louis says ALPHONSE TOULOUSE LAUTREC.

The translator says ALPHONSE TOULOUSE LAUTREC AND PRINCETEAU HAD PROPERTIES THAT WERE CLOSE TO EACH OTHER. THEIR FAMILIES WERE FRIENDS. ALPHONSE DE TOULOUSE LAUTREC ENTRUSTED HIS SON TO PRINCETEAU SO THAT HE COULD BE AN ARTIST, AND SO HE BECAME HIS FIRST TEACHER. BUT HE ALSO TAUGHT ALPHONSE, HIS FATHER, AND HIS UNCLE ODON.

Fiona says SO THERE WERE THREE OF THEM ALL LEARNING TO PAINT WITH RENE PRINCETEAU? IS IT POSSIBLE THAT THE SKETCHES THEN, ALAIN'S SKETCHES, COULD THEY BE BY A DIFFERENT TOULOUSE LAUTREC?

Louis says I CAN'T COMMENT ON TOULOUSE LAUTREC, I DON'T KNOW.

Fiona says SO YOU CAN'T TELL US IF THEY'RE BY TOULOUSE LAUTREC BECAUSE YOU'RE A SPECIALIST IN PRINCETEAU AND PRINCETEAU ONLY. IT'S DOWN TO THE COMMITTEE. OKAY. MERCI, THANK YOU.

(music plays)

Fiona says WELL, I THINK WE'VE GOT QUITE A BIT FURTHER NOW AFTER THAT CONVERSATION. M. CUVREAU IS ADAMANT THAT THOSE SKETCHES ARE NOT BY RENE PRINCETEAU, MAYBE A HANDFUL COULD BE, BUT AS FOR THE REST, DEFINITELY NOT. AND THEN WHEN IT COMES TO THE HANDWRITING, WHICH THE COMMITTEE BELIEVED IS PRINCETEAU'S HANDWRITING, AGAIN HE'S 100 percent CONVINCED IT'S NOTHING TO DO WITH PRINCETEAU. SO IT WOULD BE NICE, THEREFORE, TO CONCLUDE THAT THE SKETCHES MUST BE BY TOULOUSE LAUTREC, BUT NOW I KNOW IT'S A BIT MORE COMPLICATED THAN THAT BECAUSE NOT ONLY WAS TOULOUSE LAUTREC STUDYING WITH PRINCETEAU, SO WAS HIS FATHER AND SO WAS HIS UNCLE. SO, WE'RE LOOKING AT A WHOLE FAMILY OF ARTISTS NOW.

(music plays)

Philip says A QUESTION MARK STILL HANGS OVER A FEW OF ALAIN'S HORSE SKETCHES. I NEED TO BE CERTAIN WE CAN DISPENSE WITH RENE PRINCETEAU ALTOGETHER. PRINCETEAU GREW UP NEAR THE TOWN OF LIBOURNE, AND THE MUSEUM OF FINE ART HERE SPECIALIZES IN HIS WORK. HOW ARE YOU? VERY NICE TO SEE YOU. I'VE ASKED ITS DIRECTOR, THIERRY SAUMIER, TO LOOK IN DETAIL AT ALAIN'S DRAWINGS, ALONGSIDE HORSES BY PRINCETEAU IN THE MUSEUM'S COLLECTION.

Thierry is in his forties, with short brown hair and wears blue-rimmed glasses, a pale blue shirt and a patterned navy blue woollen blazer.

Philip says SO THIERRY, IF YOU COMPARE THIS WITH ONE OF OURS HERE, CAN YOU MAKE A USEFUL COMPARISON OR CONTRAST EVEN?

Thierry says CONTRAST, YES. IN MY OPINION, THE LEGS ARE NOT EXACTLY THE SAME. IT'S MORE STRONGER HERE.

Philip says YES, I SEE WHAT YOU MEAN. THEY ARE EMPHATIC, QUITE STRAIGHT LINES, WHEREAS THIS OTHER HAND, LET'S HOPE THAT IT MIGHT BE TOULOUSE LAUTREC, IS SOFTER, MORE MEANDERING. WHERE THE COMPOSITIONS ARE SIMILAR, THE CONTRAST IS EVEN CLEARER. PRINCETEAU'S LINES ARE MORE CONTROLLED AND CAREFUL. THE HORSE'S LEGS OFTEN SEEM TO TAPER TO A POINT, WHEREAS THOSE IN ALAIN'S SKETCHES ARE SO MUCH LOOSER, MORE SUGGESTIVE OF MOVEMENT. OKAY, IT'S NOW TIME FOR DIRECT QUESTIONS. DO YOU THINK THAT OUR DRAWINGS COULD BE BY RENE PRINCETEAU?

Thierry says NO, ABSOLUTELY NO.

Philip says CERTAINLY, UNQUESTIONABLY NOT? OKAY.

(music plays)

Philip says THIS HAS GIVEN US A REAL BREAKTHROUGH. WE'VE ALWAYS DOUBTED THE PRINCETEAU ATTRIBUTION. IT'S NEVER REALLY FITTED. BUT NOW WE'VE GOT IT OFFICIALLY. THE PRINCETEAU EXPERT IN THE PRINCETEAU MUSEUM BEHIND ME HAS SAID THEY ARE NOT BY HIM. PRINCETEAU IS NOW OUT OF THE PICTURE!

Fiona walks into a bookshop and says WITH PRINCETEAU RULED OUT, WE CAN CONCENTRATE NOW ON TOULOUSE LAUTREC, AND I'VE ARRANGED TO MEET BRITAIN'S LEADING AUTHORITY ON HIS WORK. IN A SPECIALIST BOOKSHOP IN LONDON'S ST. JAMES, PROFESSOR RICHARD THOMSON WANTS TO SHOW ME THE LAUTREC CATALOGUE RAISONNE.

Richard is in his fifties, with short curly gray hair and wears glasses, a black suit, blue shirt and orange tie.

Fiona says RICHARD, I'M BEGINNING TO FEEL TENTATIVELY ENCOURAGED ABOUT ALAIN'S SKETCHES, BUT I'M VERY AWARE THAT THEY ARE NOWHERE TO BE SEEN IN THIS EXTENSIVE CATALOGUE RAISONNE, THE AUTHORIZED LIST OF THE ARTIST'S WORKS.

Richard says WELL, THEY'RE NOT, BUT THIS SHOULD BE ABLE TO HELP. THIS WAS PUBLISHED BY MADAME DORTOU IN SIX VOLUMES IN 1971, AND THERE IS A GREAT DEAL OF MATERIAL IN IT INCLUDING THE EARLY DRAWINGS FROM LAUTREC'S CHILDHOOD AND ADOLESCENCE.

Fiona says AND, OF COURSE, HE WAS VERY FRAIL AS A YOUNG MAN. HE BROKE THE BONES IN BOTH HIS THIGHS, HE SPENT A LOT OF TIME IN BED AND HE... THIS IS HOW HE EXPERIENCED THE WORLD IN LARGE PART, THROUGH HIS PENCIL, BY MAKING HIS SKETCHES.

Richard says HE WAS OBSERVING. UM, QUITE A LOT OF THE WORK IS CARICATURAL. HE HAD A WICKED EYE, AND A WICKED SENSE OF HUMOUR. AND THAT COMES OUT IN SOME OF THESE DRAWINGS. BUT HE WAS ALSO VERY OBSERVANT OF PEOPLE'S GESTURES, FACIAL FEATURES, THE BEHAVIOUR OF ANIMALS.

Fiona says UNUSUAL TO SEE SO MANY SKETCHES BY AN ARTIST AS A CHILD, I WOULD HAVE THOUGHT.

Richard says HIS MOTHER WAS ABSOLUTELY DEVOTED TO HIM. OF COURSE, TOULOUSE LAUTREC DIED YOUNG IN 1901, HIS MOTHER WAS BROKEN-HEARTED, AND THESE WERE HER HENRI'S DRAWINGS. AND SO SHE KEPT THEM ALL HER LIFE.

(music plays)

Fiona says LAUTREC DIED AGED JUST 36, FROM ALCOHOLISM AND SYPHILIS. HIS MOTHER AND HIS ART DEALER WERE DETERMINED TO PROTECT HIS REPUTATION AND CATALOGUE HIS WORK. THEY MADE SURE THAT EVERY SHEET OF AUTHENTIC LAUTREC DRAWINGS WERE STAMPED WITH A DISTINCTIVE HTL MONOGRAM IN RED. MOST RECOGNIZED LAUTREC SKETCHES BEAR THIS STAMP, AND THAT'S A PROBLEM FOR ALAIN BECAUSE THERE ARE NO STAMPS IN HIS SKETCHBOOKS. IS THERE AN AUTHORITY TODAY TO WHOM WE COULD GO TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS PARTICULAR PERIOD OF TOULOUSE LAUTREC'S LIFE?

Richard says THERE ISN'T. THIS HASN'T BEEN STUDIED IN DETAIL AT ALL. WITH ARTISTS OF THIS PERIOD, WE HAVE REALLY DONE VERY LITTLE RESEARCH ON THE YOUTHFUL DRAWINGS OF SUCH ARTISTS. SO, IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO BE PRECISE ABOUT THIS KIND OF WORK.

Fiona says WHEN YOU FIRST SAW ALAIN'S SKETCHES, WHAT WAS YOUR INITIAL REACTION?

Richard says I WAS INITIALLY CAUTIOUS. AFTER ALL, LAUTREC'S MOTHER WAS SO THOROUGH IN KEEPING HIS WORK IT'S DIFFICULT TO THINK OF EARLY DRAWINGS THAT MIGHT HAVE ESCAPED. MY INITIAL INSTINCT WAS SLIGHTLY SCEPTICAL.

Fiona says IF YOU WERE GOING TO TRY AND AUTHENTICATE ALAIN'S SKETCHES, WHERE WOULD YOU GO FROM HERE?

Richard says AH, THERE ARE A NUMBER OF THINGS: I WOULD START LOOKING AT THE TECHNIQUES, THE KIND OF MATERIALS HE WAS USING, I WOULD CHECK TO SEE HOW THE SUBJECTS RELATE TO THE OTHER SUBJECTS HE USED, IF POSSIBLE I WOULD TRY AND GET HOLD OF SOME DRAWINGS BY HIS FATHER AND UNCLE AND SEE WHETHER THEY CORRESPOND TO OR ARE DIFFERENT TO WHAT WAS REPRESENTED. SO THERE ARE A NUMBER OF AVENUES WE COULD GO DOWN TO DO THAT KIND OF CHECKING.

(music plays)

Fiona says IT'S CLEAR FROM TALKING TO RICHARD THAT WITH NO RECOGNIZED AUTHORITY ON LAUTREC'S JUVENILE WORK, IT'S HARD FOR ANY EXPERT TO PRONOUNCE DEFINITIVELY ON ALAIN'S SKETCHBOOKS. WELL, IT SEEMS TO ME WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO DO THE LEGWORK WHEN IT COMES TO UNDERSTANDING TOULOUSE LAUTREC'S LIFE AND WORKS AROUND 1880. SO I'VE BEEN READING LOTS OF BIOGRAPHIES, AND SOME OF HIS LETTERS, WHICH HAVE PROVED VERY USEFUL. AND THEN RICHARD REMINDED ME THAT WE ALSO HAVE TO CONSIDER THE OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS WHO WERE LEARNING FROM THE SAME ART TUTOR. SO HIS FATHER, ALPHONSE, AND HIS UNCLE, ODON, AND THE PROBLEM THERE IS THAT THERE ARE NO BOOKS OF THEIR DRAWINGS, SO IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO MAKE A COMPARISON THAT WAY. BUT I THINK I'VE COME UP WITH A SOLUTION.

(music plays)

Fiona says WE'VE COME TO CHÂTEAU DE BOSC, 80 MILES NORTHWEST OF TOULOUSE, WHERE LAUTREC SPENT MUCH OF HIS YOUTH. THE CHATEAU REMAINED IN THE FAMILY FOR GENERATIONS, AND IT HOUSES A COLLECTION WHICH INCLUDES MANY OF THEIR DRAWINGS AND LETTERS. FAR FROM THE BUSTLE OF PARIS, LAUTREC'S FAMILY OCCUPIED THEMSELVES WITH COUNTRY PURSUITS, AND HENRI PARTICULARLY LOVED RIDING UNTIL HIS ILL HEALTH MADE IT IMPOSSIBLE.

Philip walks in the chateau and says TERRIFIC, ISN'T IT?

Fiona says WHAT A BEAUTIFUL ROOM.

Philip says ISN'T IT?

Fiona says THESE BEAUTIFUL TAPESTRIES.

Philip says EVERYWHERE INSIDE THE CHATEAU, THERE IS EVIDENCE OF THE FAMILY'S LOVE OF SKETCHING. OH YEAH, AND THE SORT OF SUBJECTS WE'VE BEEN LOOKING AT: HORSES, DOGS, PEOPLE. THE QUESTION IS ARE ANY OF THESE SKETCHES LIKE THE ONES IN ALAIN'S SKETCHBOOKS?

Fiona says GOSH. I MEAN, LOTS OF MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY LIKED TO DRAW, DIDN'T THEY?

Philip says YEAH, BUT IT'S INTERESTING THOUGH, BECAUSE I HAVEN'T SEEN ANYTHING THAT'S GOT THE SAME DEFTNESS AND SWIFTNESS AS THE DRAWINGS IN ALAIN'S SKETCHBOOKS.

Fiona says WELL, SOME OF THESE SKETCHES ARE DEFINITELY BY HENRI'S FATHER, ALPHONSE. I MEAN, SOME HE'S SIGNED WITH A GREAT FLOURISH, LIKE THE WOODCOCK OVER THERE. AND IN FACT, HENRI'S GRANDMOTHER SAID, "KILLING A WOODCOCK GIVES MY SONS' THREE PLEASURES: THE GUN, THE FORK, AND THE PENCIL." IT'S RATHER MARVELLOUS, ISN'T IT?

Philip says WORDS FOR THE FRENCH GENTRY.

(music plays)

Philip says BUT FOR LAUTREC'S FATHER AND UNCLES, THIS WAS A HOBBY, NOT A VOCATION. IT'S CLEAR THESE DRAWINGS DON'T RESEMBLE THOSE IN ALAIN'S SKETCHBOOKS. THE ARTIST WE'RE LOOKING FOR IS ALTOGETHER MORE ACCOMPLISHED.

Fiona grabs framed letters with sketches and says LET ME SHOW YOU THIS THOUGH. THESE ARE DEFINITELY HENRI TOULOUSE LAUTREC. THESE ARE LETTERS THAT HE WROTE.

Philip says HAVE YOU NOTICED SOMETHING? THAT THE CENTRAL LETTER, AND THAT FIGURE, THAT HIGHLY DISTINCTIVE FIGURE, THAT IS THE SAME MAN, SURELY, AS APPEARS IN ALAIN'S SKETCHBOOKS.

Fiona says I THINK YOU'RE RIGHT. HAVE YOU GOT THEM THERE?

They compare the letters to Alain's sketches.

Philip says SAME ATTITUDE OF THE HAND.

Fiona says SAME HAT. HIS ARM, HIS OTHER ARM IN THE SAME POSITION.

Philip says AND OBVIOUSLY A FIGURE THAT APPEALS TO HIM, THAT INTERESTS HIM.

Fiona says SO LET'S SEE WHAT THIS LETTER SAYS. IT'S WRITTEN FROM SOMEWHERE CALLED LAMALOU. HE'S IN SOME SORT OF SPA. IT SAYS, "NOTHING INTERESTING'S HAPPENING EXCEPT I CAN TELL YOU THE TEMPERATURE OF MY BATH OR MY SHOWER."

(music plays)

Fiona says LAUTREC WROTE THE LETTER IN 1881, FROM LAMALOU-LES-BAINS, A THERAPEUTIC SPA WHICH HIS MOTHER HOPED MIGHT IMPROVE HIS HEALTH. LAUTREC SAYS HE'S DRAWING THE CHARACTERS AT LAMALOU EVERY MOMENT OF EVERY DAY. DID ONE OF THOSE CHARACTERS MAKE HIS WAY INTO ALAIN'S SKETCHBOOK? AND THEN LOOK, HANG ON. LOOK AT THIS WRITING UNDER THE FIGURE, TINY. PAPA THOMSON.

Philip says I MEAN, THIS IS A LETTER BY TOULOUSE LAUTREC. THIS IS THE SAME FIGURE AS WE SEE IN ALAIN'S SKETCHBOOKS. THIS IS SURELY NOT A COINCIDENCE.

Fiona says AND THERE MIGHT BE OTHER STUFF IN HERE. WE NEED TO HAVE A LOOK. AND THIS IS HENRI TOULOUSE LAUTREC'S BEDROOM WHEN HE WAS A CHILD, AND WHEN HE CAME BACK HERE AS AN ADULT, AND THAT'S INTERESTING.

They find a model boat on top of a drawer chest.

Fiona says AGAIN IN HIS LETTERS, TOULOUSE LAUTREC TALKS ABOUT BUILDING A MODEL BOAT, AND I THINK THIS IS IT.

Philip says YEAH, AND IN ALAIN'S SKETCHBOOK, THERE IS A REALLY CAREFULLY MEASURED DRAWING OF A BOAT WITH ALL THE DETAILS. I MEAN, I WONDER IF THERE'S SOME CONNECTION HERE?

Fiona says AROUND 1880, WE KNOW LAUTREC WROTE SEVERAL LETTERS TO A FRIEND MENTIONING HIS MODEL NAVY. THE MANY DRAWINGS OF BOATS IN ALAIN'S SKETCHBOOKS COULD PROVIDE US WITH ANOTHER LINK TO LAUTREC. WELL, IF THAT IS LAUTREC'S DRAWING, THAT'S PROBABLY HIS WRITING AS WELL. SO WE OUGHT TO LOOK AT THAT.

Philip says IT'S DEFINITELY WORTH REVISITING, ISN'T IT?

Philip says BUT THERE'S ONE LAST THING I NEED TO CONSIDER WHILE WE'RE HERE. THE FAMILY OBSESSION: HORSES. DRAWINGS OF HORSES TAKE UP THE MAJORITY OF ALAIN'S SECOND SKETCHBOOK. WE NOW KNOW THAT THEY AREN'T BY PRINCETEAU, BUT CAN THEY BE LINKED MORE CLOSELY TO THE YOUNG LAUTREC?

At a paddock, Peter says WELL, NEITHER OF US CAN DRAW, BUT WE CAN BOTH RIDE. MIND YOU, I GATHER YOU HAVE A TENDENCY TO FALL OFF?

Fiona says WELL, I DID END UP FLAT ON MY BACK RECENTLY, WATCHING MY HORSE CANTER OFF IN THE OTHER DIRECTION, BUT LESS SAID ABOUT THAT THE BETTER. LOOK AT THE WAY SHE'S LEADING THESE HORSES AROUND US. WHAT DOES THAT REMIND YOU OF?

Philip says WELL, I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU'RE REFERRING TO. THEY'RE AT LEAST THREE DRAWINGS, AREN'T THERE, OF HORSES BEING LED.

(NEIGHING)

Philip says WHOEVER DID THESE DRAWINGS IS SOMEONE WHO KNOWS HOW TO DO A HORSE, CAPTURE THE ANATOMY, AND HARNESS THEIR ENERGY. IT'S SO STRIKING.

Fiona says SOMEONE WHO REALLY LOVES HORSES AND WHO OBSERVED THEM, SPENT A LOT OF TIME LOOKING AT THEM.

Philip says AND ONE OF THE DRAWINGS, DATED... 1880, SHOWS HORSES AND SOLDIERS.

Fiona says WELL, I'VE DONE A BIT OF RESEARCH INTO THIS AREA, INTO ALBI, AND IN THE 1870S AND '80S, THERE WERE MILITARY MANOEUVRES GOING ON HERE, SO IT WOULD MAKE SENSE THAT TOULOUSE LAUTREC OBSERVED THOSE. I'VE ALSO BEEN READING NOT ONLY TOULOUSE LAUTREC'S LETTERS, BUT LETTERS BY HIS PAINTING TUTOR, BY PRINCETEAU. THERE'S ONE HERE THAT'S PARTICULARLY INTERESTING. SO HE TALKS ABOUT 1879. NOW REMEMBER, OUR SKETCH IS AROUND 1880, AND HE TALKS ABOUT TOULOUSE LAUTREC GOING OFF ON HOLIDAY WITH HIS PARENTS AT BOSC, THE CHÂTEAU DE BOSC. HE SAYS HE DIDN'T ABANDON HIS PAINT BRUSHES, HE USED THEM TO DO PORTRAITS, TO PAINT HORSES, DOGS, ARTILLERY SOLDIERS DURING THEIR MANOEUVRES WHO WERE NEARBY.

Philip says HE'S PRETTY WELL DESCRIBING ALAIN'S SKETCHBOOKS, ISN'T HE?

Fiona says EXACTLY.

Philip says I'VE DISCOVERED THAT AROUND 1880, LAUTREC DID INDEED EXPLORE THE THEME OF A MOUNTED SOLDIER LEADING A SECOND HORSE IN AT LEAST TWO PAINTINGS. AND I'VE FOUND A LAUTREC INK SKETCH, WHICH CONTAINS A NEAR IDENTICAL COMPOSITION TO THOSE IN ALAIN'S SKETCHBOOKS. I MEAN, IT ALL SEEMS TO BE POINTING TO TOULOUSE LAUTREC. IT NOW FEELS LIKE WE'RE REALLY GETTING SOMEWHERE, AND I'VE JUST HAD SOME NEWS WHICH HAS BROUGHT ME BACK TO SNOWY PARIS. AN AUCTION HOUSE HAS JUST ANNOUNCED THE SALE OF SOME PARTICULARLY EXCITING LOTS. THEY'RE ABOUT TO SELL TWO SKETCHBOOKS AND AN EXERCISE BOOK DONE BY TOULOUSE LAUTREC IN CIRCA 1880. NOW, THAT'S PRETTY WELL BANG-ON THE DATE THAT ALAIN'S DRAWINGS, IF THEY'RE BY TOULOUSE LAUTREC, ARE MEANT TO HAVE BEEN DONE. THIS IS AN EXTRAORDINARY OPPORTUNITY, ONE OF THOSE RARE ART WORLD CHANCES TO MAKE A FANTASTIC DIRECT COMPARISON.

(music plays)

Philip says IT'S A PUBLIC VIEWING DAY, WHICH MEANS ANYONE CAN INSPECT THE LOTS ON OFFER. BUT I NEED TO LEAVE THE CAMERAS OUTSIDE WHILE I GO IN TO TAKE A LOOK.

Fiona says THE SKETCHBOOKS PHILIP HAS GONE TO SEE BELONG TO LAUTREC'S COUSIN, GABRIEL. IT'S TEMPTING TO THINK THAT ONE OF LAUTREC'S MANY COUSINS MIGHT BE THE SOURCE OF ALAIN'S SKETCHBOOKS, TOO. BUT I'VE SEARCHED FAR AND WIDE AND FOUND NO EVIDENCE. I'M LEAVING FRANCE NO FURTHER ALONG THE PROVENANCE TRAIL THAN WHEN I ARRIVED.

Philip says BACK IN PARIS, I HAVE VIEWED THE SKETCHBOOKS UP FOR AUCTION, AND THINGS ARE LOOKING GOOD.

He gets coffee at a café and says MERCI. WELL, THAT WAS SUCCESSFUL. I NOW HAVE, ON MY PHONE, A WHOLE LOAD OF IMAGES FROM THOSE SKETCHBOOKS, WHICH ARE EXTRAORDINARILY SIMILAR IN MANY WAYS AND THE SAME TYPE OF THINGS INTEREST THE ARTIST OF BOTH SETS OF WORKS: DOGS, HORSES WITH RIDERS, INCLUDING A SOLDIER. AND AMONG THOSE SKETCHES I SAW WERE SOME WHICH WERE STARTLINGLY SIMILAR TO THOSE IN ALAIN'S SKETCHBOOKS. AND IT'S WORTH KEEPING IN MIND THAT ALL OF THE DRAWINGS UP FOR SALE ARE INCLUDED OFFICIALLY IN THE CATALOGUE RAISONNE. I'M PARTICULARLY STRUCK BY THE RESEMBLANCE BETWEEN THE YOUNG LADIES IN THE EXERCISE BOOK AND ALAIN'S WOMEN WITH PARASOLS. I FEEL BOLDER AND MORE CONFIDENT AFTER THIS. I FEEL THAT BOTH SETS OF SKETCHBOOKS ARE OFFERING ME THE SAME TYPE OF INTIMACIES AND ENTHUSIASMS. I THINK ALAIN'S SKETCHBOOKS ARE BY TOULOUSE LAUTREC.

(music plays)

Fiona says JUST WHEN THINGS WERE GOING SO WELL, I'VE HAD SOME WORRYING NEWS WHICH ADDS A NEW URGENCY TO OUR INVESTIGATION. I'VE JUST FOUND OUT THAT THE TOULOUSE LAUTREC COMMITTEE IS MEETING VERY SOON, AND THEN WON'T BE MEETING AGAIN FOR SEVERAL MONTHS, WHICH MEANS THAT WE NEED TO GET ALL OUR EVIDENCE ABOUT ALAIN'S SKETCHBOOKS TO THEM, WELL, NOW. AND TO BE HONEST, WE'RE NOT READY. WE NEED A LOT OF INFORMATION IF WE'RE GOING TO PERSUADE THEM TO CHANGE THEIR MINDS, AND WE HAVEN'T DONE ENOUGH TECHNICAL ANALYSIS FOR STARTERS. AND ONE THING WE DEFINITELY HAVEN'T LOOKED AT IS ALL THE HANDWRITING. SO, I'M GOING TO TAKE THE DIAGRAM OF THE BOAT AND SOME OF THE OTHER HANDWRITING AND SEND IT TO A HANDWRITING EXPERT, AND SEE WHAT HE MAKES OF IT, AND HOPEFULLY WE'LL GET THE RESULTS BEFORE THE DEADLINE.

Philip says ALONGSIDE THE HANDWRITING, WE ALSO NEED TO LOOK AT THE PHYSICAL FORM OF THE SKETCHBOOKS THEMSELVES. I'VE LOCATED TWO AUTHENTIC LAUTREC SKETCHBOOKS IN MUSEUMS IN AMERICA, AND I THINK A DIRECT COMPARISON MIGHT BE POSSIBLE. ONE IS IN THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO. IT'S THE SAME DATE AS OURS AND, EXCITINGLY, IT'S THE SAME SIZE. IT ALSO HAS THAT RATHER DISTINCTIVE FEATURE OF THOSE YELLOW ENDPAPERS. AND NOT ONLY THAT, BUT IN ANOTHER PART OF AMERICA, IN NEW YORK, IN THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM, I FOUND ANOTHER OF THE SAME DATE. UNFORTUNATELY, IT HASN'T BEEN POSSIBLE TO FILM EITHER OF THOSE SKETCHBOOKS, BUT WE THINK WE CAN DO ONE BETTER. WE'VE COME ACROSS AN EXPERT WHO'S HIGHLY FAMILIAR WITH THE CHICAGO SKETCHBOOK, AND SHE'S PREPARED TO COME OVER HERE AND ANALYZE ALAIN'S SKETCHBOOKS. NOW, IT'S POSSIBLE THAT WITH THE BENEFIT OF HER INSIGHTS, WE CAN MAKE SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS.

Fiona says MEANWHILE, GRAPHOLOGIST ADAM BRAND HAS BEEN EXAMINING ALAIN'S SKETCHES AND COMPARING THEM TO KNOWN HANDWRITING FROM THE SAME PERIOD BY TOULOUSE LAUTREC. I'VE INVITED ELAINE ALONG TO FIND OUT WHAT HE'S DISCOVERED.

Adam is in his seventies, bald and clean-shaven. He wears glasses, a black suit, a blue shirt and a printed blue tie.

Fiona says ADAM, WE'VE ASKED YOU LOOK AT THE HANDWRITING ON THE SKETCHES BELONGING TO ELAINE'S FATHER-IN-LAW, ALAIN. WHAT HAVE YOU MANAGED TO FIND?

Adam says WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT HIS WRITING, IT'S FAST, IT'S GOT TREMENDOUSLY LONG T-BARS. DO YOU SEE THE LENGTH OF THAT T-BAR THERE?

Fiona says SO NOW WE HAVE THIS LITTLE SNIPPET OF HANDWRITING, WHICH HAS A PORTRAIT ON THE OTHER SIDE, WHICH WAS IN AMONGST THESE SKETCHBOOKS. SO WE DON'T KNOW WHETHER THIS IS TOULOUSE LAUTREC'S HANDWRITING.

Adam says ABSOLUTELY, AND THEREFORE, ONE'S LOOKING AT THE CHARACTERISTICS WE LOOKED AT BEFORE, THE FAST SPEED, THE VERY SMOOTH RHYTHM, YOU CAN THEN HONE DOWN ON THE DETAIL AND YOU CAN ACTUALLY COMPARE DIRECTLY... THE T-BAR IS LONG, THE T-BAR IS LONG. YOU'VE GOT THE O WITH THAT LOOP ON THE RIGHT HAND SIDE. YOU'VE GOT THAT ARCADE AT THE START OF THE M.

Fiona says OKAY, WELL, SO THAT'S LOOKING PRETTY GOOD, WOULD YOU SAY, YES?

Elaine says YES, VERY.

Adam says BUT DO YOU SEE WHY I'M RELATIVELY HAPPY ABOUT THOSE TWO BASED ON THAT?

Fiona says SO THIS NOW IS ONE OF YOUR FATHER-IN-LAW'S SKETCHES. IN FACT, WE LOOKED AT WHAT COULD BE THE END RESULT OF THIS DIAGRAM, A SHIP IN BOSC. DOES THIS LOOK LIKE THE HAND OF TOULOUSE LAUTREC TO YOU?

Adam says TAKE THE FIVE. YOU SEE THIS HOOK WHICH YOU GET AT THE START, AND THE LOOP AND THE LITTLE HOOK THERE. NOW, THAT IS QUITE A DISTINCTIVE FIVE, ALL RIGHT. DO YOU SEE THE LEFT TENDENCY ON THAT T? DO YOU SEE THE WAY THAT IT'S GOT THAT UP, DOWN, AND AROUND? IT'S IN COMBINATION WITH THE FIVE, THE LOOP, THE HOOK THAT YOU START TO SAY, "OKAY, THERE IS A GOOD POSSIBILITY THAT THIS COULD BE LAUTREC WRITING." DO YOU SEE?

Fiona says WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT, ELAINE?

Elaine says I THINK IT'S QUITE ASTONISHING, AND...

Fiona says IT'S ENCOURAGING.

Elaine says VERY ENCOURAGING, YES.

Fiona says SO TO SUM UP THEN, YOU ARE AS CONFIDENT AS I'VE SEEN YOU, ACTUALLY, IN THE MANY TIMES WE'VE FILMED TOGETHER, THAT THE WRITING YOU CAN SEE ON THESE SKETCHES IS... THAT OF TOULOUSE LAUTREC?

Adam says YES.

Fiona says THE ONE THING THAT STRIKES ME IS THAT FRENCH PEOPLE ALL LEARN TO WRITE IN THE SAME WAY, IN A WAY THAT BRITISH PEOPLE DON'T. AND SO ISN'T IT MUCH HARDER TO TELL ONE FRENCH PERSON'S WRITING FROM ANOTHER?

Adam says THAT'S VERY TRUE, AND BECAUSE OF WHAT YOU'VE SAID, THE WRITING AND THE DRAWINGS WERE SENT TO FRANCE TO A VERY SENIOR, EXPERIENCED HANDWRITING ANALYST CALLED EVELYNE MARGANNE, WHO WROTE A REPORT ABOUT THE ONES WE'VE BEEN LOOKING AT, AND HERE IT IS. I MEAN, IT'S AN ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS REPORT.

Fiona says OH, LOOK, SHE'S WRITING THIS FROM THE COUR D'APPEL DE PARIS, THE PARISIAN APPEAL COURT. SO, HERE WE GO, IT'S ALL IN FRENCH, LET'S HAVE A LOOK TOGETHER, ELAINE.

She skims through the report and says SO, SHE'S LOOKED AT SEVERAL SKETCHES, HOW MANY? NINE, NINE SKETCHES. CONCLUSION, OKAY. "SKETCHES ONE TO NINE..." (ELAINE SPEAKING FRENCH) (GASPING)."ARE BY HENRI DE TOULOUSE LAUTREC."

Adam says GOSH, THAT IS PRETTY SOLID.

Elaine says WOW.

Fiona says SHE'S NOT EVEN EQUIVOCATING HERE.

Elaine says NO, SHE'S NOT, NO.

Fiona says SO SHE AGREES WITH YOU.

Adam says WHAT DO I SAY? (LAUGHING)

Fiona says IT'S AMAZING TO SEE THAT WRITTEN. I'D LOVE TO SEE THE COMITÉ, THE TOULOUSE LAUTREC COMMITTEE READING THIS. I MEAN, THIS IS EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT THEY ARE CLAIMING. THE COMMITTEE SAYS THE HANDWRITING IS NOT TOULOUSE LAUTREC'S. EVELYNE MARGANNE, DOYENNE OF FRENCH GRAPHOLOGY, IS SAYING VERY CLEARLY THAT THEY ARE.

Adam says YEAH, WHICH IS VERY ENCOURAGING.

Fiona says I THINK THAT'S WONDERFULLY FRENCH, ISN'T IT? THERE'S NO NUANCE THERE, YES OR NO, SHE'S SAYING YES.

Elaine says SHE'S A CONFIDENT LADY.

Fiona says SHE IS, I'D LIKE TO MEET HER. SHE SOUNDS MARVELLOUS.

(music plays)

Fiona says ARMED WITH ALL THE EVIDENCE WE'VE FOUND SO FAR, PHILIP HAS BROUGHT THE SKETCHES TO PARIS, TO SUBMIT THEM TO THE TOULOUSE LAUTREC COMMITTEE.

Philip says THE TIME HAS NOW COME UPON US RATHER SOONER THAN EXPECTED TO PRESENT ALAIN'S SKETCHES TO THE COMMITTEE FOR CONSIDERATION. I REALLY DO BELIEVE THAT THESE ARE BY TOULOUSE LAUTREC, BUT WE HAVE TO CONVINCE A GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO'VE SAID NO TO CHANGE THEIR MIND, AND THAT BRINGS WITH IT ALL SORTS OF OTHER CONSIDERATIONS. I WISH I WERE MORE CONFIDENT.

Philip says THE TIGHT DEADLINE MEANS THAT OUR DOSSIER IS MISSING ANY TECHNICAL COMPARISONS WITH THE LAUTREC SKETCHBOOKS IN AMERICA. IT COULD BE A PROBLEM. HOWEVER, THE COMMITTEE HAVE ALREADY MADE IT CLEAR TO ME THAT THE EVIDENCE OF THEIR EYES WILL BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANY RESEARCH WE CAN OFFER. IT'S A FEW WEEKS LATER, AND PAPER CONSERVATOR AND TECHNICAL ART HISTORIAN HARRIET STRATIS HAS ARRIVED IN LONDON FROM CHICAGO. SHE'S BEEN ABLE TO STUDY THE TWO SKETCHBOOKS IN CHICAGO AND NEW YORK, WHICH BEAR A STRIKING PHYSICAL RESEMBLANCE TO ALAIN'S. HARRIET, HELLO.

Harriet is in her late forties, with short straight brown hair with a few white streaks on the front and wears glasses, black trousers, and a burgundy sweater.

She says HELLO.

Philip says HOW VERY GOOD TO MEET YOU, AND THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR COMING TO CONSIDER THESE DRAWINGS.

Harriet says PLEASURE.

Philip says NOW, WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY, I KNOW, COULD BE OF CRUCIAL IMPORTANCE. SO WHAT HAVE YOU DISCOVERED?

Harriet says WHAT IS VERY NICE TO SEE IS THAT WHEN COMPARING THESE TWO PARTICULAR SKETCHBOOKS TO OTHERS KNOWN TO BE BY LAUTREC, WE SEE EXACTLY THE SAME TYPE OF ENDPAPERS.

Philip says SO, THE SKETCHBOOKS BY TOULOUSE LAUTREC THAT YOU KNOW, ARE THE SAME BASIC TYPE AND MAKE?

Harriet says YES, THIS SKETCHBOOK, WHEN COMPARED TO A SKETCHBOOK BY LAUTREC IN THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, IS SIMILAR IN EVERY WAY. WE GET TO A CERTAIN POINT WHERE... HE'S USING WATERCOLOUR. YOU FIND THE SAME APPLICATION IN THE OTHER SKETCHBOOK. INTERESTINGLY YOU ALSO FIND IN THIS SKETCHBOOK A SERIES OF PINHOLES THAT EXIST ON THE OUTER EDGE OF EACH SHEET.

Philip says SO, COULD IT BE THAT, I DON'T KNOW, HE DIDN'T WANT THE DRAWINGS TO MOVE ABOUT IN THE WIND OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT?

Harriet says IT DIDN'T MOVE AROUND AND IF IT WERE GOING TO START UNDULATING WITH THE APPLICATION OF WATER IT WOULD BE HELD IN PLACE. THE METROPOLITAN SKETCHBOOK HAS THE SAME PINHOLES.

Philip says IS THIS, THOUGH, SOMETHING YOU MIGHT FIND WITH OTHER ARTISTS OF THE PERIOD?

Harriet says I HAVEN'T OBSERVED THE USE OF PINS TO HOLD SHEETS OF PAPER IN PLACE IN OTHER SKETCHBOOKS THAT I'VE EXAMINED IN THE PAST.

Philip says SO, BY THE SOUNDS OF IT, THIS IS A QUIRK TO BE FOUND IN ALAIN'S SKETCHBOOKS BUT ALSO TO BE FOUND IN THE PROVEN TOULOUSE LAUTREC SKETCHBOOKS IN AMERICA?

Harriet says YES, SO, PHILIP, WE SEE TWO PHENOMENA HERE, FIRST YOU SEE THE ARTIST COMBINING THE USE OF GRAPHITE WITH THE USE OF PEN AND, IN THIS CASE, A BROWN INK. HE'S NOT JUST USING THE INK OVER THE ENTIRE DRAWING. SO, FOR EXAMPLE, YOU SEE IT VERY SELECTIVELY USED ON PART OF THIS FIGURE TO HIGHLIGHT OR TO EMPHASIZE CERTAIN PARTS OF THE COMPOSITION.

Philip says THAT SCRIBBLY FUSION OF INK AND PENCIL THAT SEEMS TO BE A REOCCURRING CHARACTERISTIC.

Harriet says YES, IN THESE BOAT SKETCHES THERE ARE A SERIES OF GRAPHITE POINTS ALONG THE SAILS. WHETHER THESE ARE MEASURING DEVICES, THEY'RE VERY UNUSUAL. I'VE SEEN THIS VERY SAME TECHNIQUE IN THE OTHER SKETCHBOOKS WHERE HE'S DONE SKETCHES OF BOATS WITH SAILS.

Philip says THAT STRIKES ME AS HIGHLY IDIOSYNCRATIC.

Harriet says I'D AGREE WITH YOU.

Philip says SO, HARRIET, WITH YOUR EXPERIENCE AND YOUR INSIGHTS AND KNOWLEDGE OF THE OTHER SKETCHBOOKS, WOULD YOU SAY THAT ALAIN'S ARE BY THE SAME HAND?

Harriet says YES, I HONESTLY DO. I WAS VERY DOUBTFUL BEFORE SEEING THEM. THERE ARE TOO MANY SIMILARITIES FOR THIS TO BE SIMPLY COINCIDENCE.

Philip says SO WHAT YOU HAVE HERE, OVERPOWERINGLY, IS THE EVIDENCE OF TOULOUSE LAUTREC?

Harriet says I BELIEVE SO.

Philip says YOU'VE JUST GIVEN US THE MOST POWERFUL AND PERSUASIVE EVIDENCE WE'VE HAD SO FAR. THANK YOU.

Harriet says OH, YOU'RE VERY WELCOME.

(music plays)

Fiona says THE COMMITTEE'S VERDICT DUE IS AT ANY MOMENT. HI THERE. AND I'VE COME TO THE GALLERY TO MEET UP WITH PHILIP. SO HOW ARE WE DOING?

Philip says I HAVE TO SAY, I FEEL REALLY ENCOURAGED. HARRIET HAS SEEN THE SKETCHBOOK NOW, AND SHE'S CONVINCED.

Fiona says BUT OF COURSE, INFURIATINGLY THE COMMITTEE HASN'T SEEN HER REPORT.

Philip says BUT IT'S ALMOST AS IF WHATEVER EVIDENCE WE COME UP WITH, TECHNICAL OR OTHERWISE, IT'S NOT GOING TO MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE. WHEN WE CAME TO DELIVER THE DRAWINGS, THEY WERE ALMOST INDIFFERENT ABOUT IT. I MEAN, WE'VE SEEN THEM BEFORE, THEY SEEM TO IMPLY, WE DON'T NEED TO SEE THEM AGAIN.

Fiona says THEY'RE SHOWING EVERY SIGN OF NOT CHANGING THEIR MINDS, AREN'T THEY? AND OF COURSE, WHEN IT COMES TO PROVENANCE, DON'T FORGET OUR CASE IS REALLY WEAK BECAUSE WE HAVEN'T REALLY GOT ANY.

Philip says I KNOW, AND WITH JUVENILE WORKS WHERE YOU'RE SLIGHTLY SORT OF FEELING IN THE DARK, PROVENANCE IS PARTICULARLY USEFUL AND IMPORTANT. BUT LET'S LOOK AT THE GOOD POINTS, I MEAN, THERE ARE STYLISTIC TRAITS WHICH ARE REALLY CONVINCING.

Fiona says I MEAN, I THINK OUR CASE IS REALLY STRONG. LET'S JUST HOPE THE COMMITTEE IS PREPARED TO LOOK AT IT.

(music plays)

Fiona says ALAIN AND ELAINE HAVE ARRIVED FROM FRANCE TO FIND OUT THE VERDICT OF THE TOULOUSE LAUTREC COMMITTEE.

Alain says HELLO.

Fiona says BONJOUR. HI, ELAINE, BONJOUR. ALAIN, CA VA?

Alain says CA VA, CA VA.

Fiona says I'M FEELING QUITE TENSE. (SPEAKING IN FRENCH) ARE YOU FEELING A BIT NERVOUS?

Alain says NO, NO.

Elaine says A LITTLE BIT.

Fiona says I KNOW THESE SKETCHES ARE PERSONALLY VERY IMPORTANT TO YOU, AREN'T THEY, ALAIN?

Alain says OUI, OUI.

The translator says YES, YES, OF VERY GREAT PERSONAL IMPORTANCE, AND ESPECIALLY BECAUSE THE DRAWINGS HAVE BEEN WITH ME FOR MORE THAN 50 YEARS, AND COME FROM MY GRANDMOTHER, WHO WAS A VERY IMPORTANT PERSON TO ME.

Alain says UN PERSONNE TRES IMPORTANT AUSSI.

Fiona says AND IF THESE ARE BY TOULOUSE LAUTREC, PHILIP, THESE ARE IMPORTANT, AREN'T THEY?

Philip says WELL, MANY OF THESE DRAWINGS HAVE A SORT OF STAND-ALONE IMPACT AS WORKS OF ART. I MEAN, THEY ARE GOOD-LOOKING IMAGES. THEY WOULD CARRY ON A WALL. AND THEN, WITH THAT LOVELY NAME, TOULOUSE LAUTREC, BENEATH WE'RE TALKING ABOUT A COLLECTION OF REAL CONSEQUENCE.

Fiona says WELL, VOICI LA LETTRE.

Alain says THE VERDICT.

Fiona says THE VERDICT. ARE WE READY?

Alain says AH, OUI, OUI.

Fiona says YES? GOD, I FEEL... REALLY TENSE. "PLEASE NOTE THAT GIVEN THE LITTLE TIME THAT WE HAVE HAD TO READ THIS DIVERSE AND DENSE STUDIES, THE COMMITTEE HAS NOT BEEN ABLE TO COME TO A DECISION ON THESE WORKS." (SIGHING) THIS IS... SO THEY'RE NOT GIVING US A VERDICT. THEY'RE SAYING WE HAVE NOT HAD ENOUGH TIME TO LOOK AT IT.

Alain says HMM.

Fiona says "WE DO NOT ENVISAGE A NEW MEETING BEFORE THE AUTUMN. IT IS NOT, HOWEVER, EXCLUDED THAT THE COMMITTEE ASKS TO LOOK AGAIN AT YOUR SKETCHES." SO, HANG ON, THAT IS A CHINK.

Philip says YEAH, IT IS.

Philip says QU'EST-CE QUE TU PENSES, ALAIN, WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Alain says JE M'ATTENDATI PAS...

The translator says I DIDN'T EXPECT ANYTHING ELSE, THAT WAS EXACTLY WHAT I THOUGHT THEY'D DO.

Elaine says I THINK IT'S A MUCH BETTER RESULT THAN WHAT I'D EXPECTED.

Fiona says OH, REALLY?

Philip says I THINK SO, I THINK SO.

Alain says C'EST MIEUX, IT'S BETTER THAN NO.

Fiona says WELL, IT IS BETTER THAN NO.

Elaine says THEY'RE OBVIOUSLY IN A POSITION WHERE THEY CAN NO LONGER SAY NO FROM WHATEVER IT IS YOU HAVE PROVIDED THEM WITH. (SPEAKING IN FRENCH)

Fiona says IT'S SO FRUSTRATING.

Alain says IT DOESN'T FRUSTRATE ME, BUT WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS THAT THEY DIDN'T SAY NO. THEY'D ALREADY DECIDED THAT IT WAS NO AND NOW THEY SAY... PERHAPS. SO IT MEANS THAT YOUR WORK WAS VERY SOLID.

Fiona says SO IT'S A BIG REVERSAL FOR THE COMMITTEE.

Philip says INDEED, FOR A COMMITTEE WHO HAVE FORMALLY SAID NO, THIS IS REAL PROGRESS, I THINK. THE WEIGHT OF EVIDENCE THAT WE'VE PRODUCED IS SUCH THAT YOU CAN'T CONFIDENTLY SAY NO. THEY HAVE TO GO TO, I SUSPECT, WHAT IS A HALFWAY STAGE, AND IF YOU CAN KEEP YOUR FIGHTING SPIRIT GOING, AND WE CAN KEEP OURS, YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT THE OUTCOME COULD BE.

Fiona says SAFE JOURNEY, BYE BYE.

Philip says BYE.

Alain says BYE!

Philip says DO YOU KNOW SOMETHING? I THINK I COULD HAVE PREDICTED THAT ANSWER. I MEAN, IT WAS A REALLY BIG ASK.

Fiona says THIS IS WHAT WE DO, PHILIP. YOU KNOW, WE GIVE COMMITTEES NEW INFORMATION, AND SOMETIMES THEY CHANGE THEIR MIND. THAT IS WHAT WE DO. AND I'M INTENSELY FRUSTRATED BY THEIR DECISION NOT TO MAKE A DECISION.

Philip says I THINK WE'VE MADE REAL PROGRESS. I MEAN, THEY HAVE... THEY HAVE SAID THAT THEY WILL CONSIDER THEM AGAIN. THEY HAVE SAID THAT THEY WILL POTENTIALLY LOOK AT THE DRAWINGS AGAIN. I MEAN, THIS IS AN ADVANCE.

Fiona says THE THING IS, OF COURSE, WHEN ALAIN GOES BACK TO THE COMMITTEE, WHICH HE WILL, HE CAN TAKE THE INFORMATION THAT HARRIET HAS FOUND, WHICH THE COMMITTEE HASN'T SEEN, AND THAT IS SO CONVINCING. AND HOPEFULLY THAT WILL BE THE ONE THING THAT ALLOWS THEM TO CHANGE THEIR MIND AND SAY THAT THEY SKETCHES ARE BY TOULOUSE LAUTREC.

Philip says THE ART WORLD WORKS IN SLOW AND MYSTERIOUS WAYS. WATCH THIS SPACE.

(theme music plays)

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

Presented by Fiona Bruce and Philip Mould.

Executive Producer, Judith Winnan.

Series Producer, Lucy Swingler.

Produced and directed by Rachel Jardine.

Logo: BBC Studios.

Logo: All3Media International.

Copyright 2018, BBC.

Watch: Fake or Fortune Series 7 - Episode 2