Entertainment & Arts

Antiques Roadshow Van Dyck painting fails to sell at auction

Van Dyck portrait Image copyright Christie's
Image caption The portrait is thought to be a sketch for The Magistrates of Brussels

A painting revealed to be a Van Dyck portrait on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow has failed to sell at auction.

The portrait had been expected to fetch up to £500,000 at the Christie's sale.

The Old Master painting was bought by Derbyshire priest, Father Jamie MacLeod, from an antiques shop in Cheshire for £400 in 1992.

It was identified as a Van Dyck after Roadshow presenter Fiona Bruce spotted it during filming and thought it might be genuine.

Bruce, who was making a programme about the artist at the time, asked expert Phillip Mould to examine the artwork during an episode of the Antiques Roadshow, which was screened last December.

After a lengthy restoration process, it was verified as authentic by Dr Christopher Brown, one of the world's leading authorities on Van Dyck.

The painting is believed to be a sketch for a work called The Magistrates of Brussels, which hung in the city's town hall until it was destroyed by a French attack in 1695.

Ahead of the auction in London, Christie's specialist Freddie de Rougemont said: "The picture is of great importance as it provides a fascinating insight into Van Dyck's working method and also constitutes a significant surviving document for the artist's lost group portrait of The Magistrates of Brussels."

Van Dyck was born in modern-day Belgium and came to work in England in 1632 at the invitation of King Charles I.

At the same auction of Old Master and British Paintings, Saint Praxedis by Johannes Vermeer - one of the only two works by the artist which remained in private hands - was sold for £6.2m.

It formed part of the collection of late US collector Barbara Piasecka Johnson with the proceeds going to her charitable foundation, Christie's said.

There had been doubts about the authenticity of the work for some years, which Vermeer created in the early part of his career.

But tests carried out on the paints used in the work were found to be consistent with other Vermeers.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Vermeer's Saint Praxedis had been expected to fetch £8m

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