The PMC and Ellis Waterhouse archive on Fake or Fortune

  • 26 July 2019

The Paul Mellon Centre featured in the latest episode of the BBC series Fake or Fortune, "The Lost Gainsborough".

The Centre holds the archive of the art historian Ellis Waterhouse, which primarily consists of annotated photographs that document his extensive research into British art between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. In the episode, the Fake or Fortune team use Waterhouse's research on the work of Thomas Gainsborough to ascertain the provenance of a painting that they believe to be a lost work by the artist.

The episode also featured a recent PMC publication, Thomas Gainsborough: The Portraits, Fancy Pictures and Copies after Old Masters – the new catalogue raisonné of Gainsborough's paintings by Hugh Belsey – which brought to light some fascinating information at a late stage in the investigation.

You can watch the episode on BBC iPlayer.

Fiona Bruce sitting at a table going through the archives in the Paul Mellon Centre Library

Screenshot of Fiona Bruce in the Paul Mellon Centre Library,