You spent how much?

April 30 2012

Image of You spent how much?

Picture: Mail

The story of a newly discovered 'Lost Turner' hit the news this weekend, with a big splash in the Sunday Times. I've only seen the picture from the press photos, so can't comment on the attribution. But one thing struck me as very odd about the tale:

When Frank Faryab bought an obscure oil painting for thousands of pounds in a private sale, it was just the start of his outlay on the work.

For the art and antiques dealer has since spent more than £2million and much of the past five years trying to convince others it was by JMW Turner, one of Britain's greatest painters. [...]

He will not say how much he paid for the seascape, a 20in x 16in oil-on-pine panel of a hazy sailing ship, but he can list the great lengths he went to for the painting to gain recognition.

He has had the painting cleaned and reframed and has gathered scientific evidence, including infrared dating, checking fingerprints and artistic tests to prove its provenance.

Now I flatter myself that I know a thing or two about authenticating pictures. There's no way you could ever spend £2m on such a process. And even if you could, wouldn't you prefer to go out and buy an undoutedly authentic Turner?

Notice to "Internet Explorer" Users

You are seeing this notice because you are using Internet Explorer 6.0 (or older version). IE6 is now a deprecated browser which this website no longer supports. To view the Art History News website, you can easily do so by downloading one of the following, freely available browsers:

Once you have upgraded your browser, you can return to this page using the new application, whereupon this notice will have been replaced by the full website and its content.