Fake or Fortune guest devastated after bombshell revelation about '£10 million' painting

A FAKE or Fortune guest was left devastated after hosts Fiona Bruce and Philip Mould dropped a bombshell revelation about their expensive painting.

With estimations up to £10 million, magazine publisher Nick Hopkinson was on the BBC show to finally discover just how valuable his work of art was.

He explained to the presenters that he was unsure whether the painting was crafted by Francesco Guardi or Michele Marieschi.

Fiona, 57, asked "Beautiful picture. How do you come to have this picture?"

He replied: "It was bought by my great grandparents in Venice around 1880 when they were on holiday there, it was then passed to my mother and on her death in 2006 I inherited it."

Phillip exclaimed: "That’s a warmingly long provenance… So how can we help?”

Explaining his predicament, the owner said: "I would really like you to tell me who painted this picture.

"Over time it’s been considered to be painted by a number of different people. Early on as a Guardi then a Marieschi and there’s still debate.”

Both artists are known for painting Venetian views in the 18th century, but they rarely signed their pieces of art.

To confuse the matter further the painting in question had two Royal Academy labels on the back, one each attributing the art to the two artists.

“Is there anything that will give us a start on this?” Philip asked Nick.

Describing his attraction towards the artwork, Nick said: "I’ve liked it ever since I was a child,

"I like the activity of people."

Philip explained: "There’s a big difference, Marieschi is a very significant artist in his own right but nothing like Guardi.

"If it is a work by Marieschi, paintings on this scale have made £500,000 – but if Guardi could be put to this up to £10million."

As Fiona and Philip attempted to help Nick get to the bottom of the confusion, they enlisted the help of expert Charles Bennington.

But unfortunately the news was not what Nick was expecting.

Charles said: "I’ve given this picture a lot of thought. It doesn’t have the distinctive touch of Marieschi or Guardi both of whom are very individual and distinctive artists.

"I don’t think it’ll be generally accepted as by either."

The Antiques Roadshow host asked: "You’re saying Nick’s picture isn’t a Marieschi."

“"It’s a composition that was invented by Marieschi but I suppose most paintings like this are by imitators," clarified the expert.

Charles then went on to explained it was from the same period "or slightly later" possibly painted by an English artist who wrongly painted the church in the picture as two separate buildings.

Unable to hide his disappointment, Nick said: "I’m disappointed. I was optimistic but I do understand that there are so many possibilities.

Due to the discovery, Philip went on to value the piece at £20,000.

Fake of Fortune? is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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