Fake or Fortune sparks controversy

Updated: May 13, 2019

On 12 August, BBC1 broadcast the first programme in Series 7 of Fake or Fortune, focusing their attentions on William Nicholson, describing him as one of the leading artists of his generation. The team examined a painting called Glass Jug with Pears that had been purchased as a William Nicholson from Browse & Darby, a London gallery with close historical connections to William Nicholson. They presented their evidence to Patricia Reed, the author of the definitive work on Nicholson, William Nicholson : Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil Paintings and she wrote to Fake or Fortune with her conclusions. Fiona Bruce read from Patricia Reed's letter, 'I regret to inform you that I do not find there is sufficient evidence to attribute this work to William Nicholson. Although there are a number of aspects to the painting that link the physical board and paint with William Nicholson and his studio, there is nothing that gives any direct evidence that he actually executed the work himself'.


The National Gallery of Canada's discussion may be read here


The mysteries surrounding the painting remain unresolved.