Lincolnshire

BBC's Fake or Fortune reveals woman's 'Rodin' sketch as fake

Sketch that was believed to have been the work of Auguste Rodin Image copyright PA
Image caption A handwriting analyst raised doubts about the signature

A sketch believed to have been the work of artist Auguste Rodin has been revealed as a fake in an investigation by the BBC's Fake or Fortune show.

The drawing of a dancer was passed on to Alice Thoday, from Lincolnshire, by her family who thought it was part of Rodin's work of a Cambodian dance troupe, which visited France in 1906.

If genuine, the sketch would have been worth more than £100,000.

Analysis by experts for the programme could not determine its authenticity.

A handwriting analyst, who compared the signature of Ms Thoday's work with examples of Rodin's signature, raised doubts they were by the same hand.

'Faked with competence'

Additionally art historian Christina Buley, who uncovered several fake Rodin works in a collection at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris in 2014, said she did not believe the drawing was genuine.

She felt it had more of the distinctive hallmarks of notorious forger Ernst Durig, a Swiss-born sculptor who claimed to be Rodin's last pupil.

Philip Mould, an English art dealer and historian, said: "We're dealing with an artist who has been faked with competence by those close to him.

"It's understandable in the high-stakes art world that this leads to extreme caution and scepticism."

The show's host Fiona Bruce said: "Never before have we investigated an artist whose work has been so comprehensively faked and whose fakes have been displayed at the most renowned art institutions in the world."

After the verdict, Ms Thoday said despite the team not being able to prove the family's belief the work was Rodin, it would remain hanging on her wall.

More on this story

Around the BBC