The BEST episodes of Fake or Fortune?

Every episode of Fake or Fortune? ever, ranked from best to worst by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The best episodes of Fake or Fortune?!

Journalist Fiona Bruce teams up with art expert Philip Mould to investigate mysteries behind paintings. It's a world of subterfuge and intrigue as they grapple with complex battles often unseen beneath the apparently genteel art establishment.

Last Updated: 6/22/2024Network: BBC OneStatus: Continuing
Share:
Rodin
star
8.98
45 votes

#1 - Rodin

Season 5 - Episode 3 - Aired 7/31/2016

An enchanting sketch of a dancer believed to have been drawn by Auguste Rodin is at the centre of an investigation that draws the team into a recent forgery scandal that has rocked the French art establishment. Alice Thoday, a Lincolnshire resident with Belgian roots, inherited the rare watercolour from her mother and has always believed it to be part of a series of works Rodin drew of a Cambodian dance troupe which visited France in 1906. It could be worth over £100,000 if genuine - but the trouble is, Rodin is one of the world's most faked artists. The quest to prove it is the genuine article takes the team to Paris and the Musee Rodin, where they search for stylistic similarities in genuine works. The provenance trail leads to Mexico City in the 1940s, where Alice's mother was given the painting by a businessman called Jimmy Heineman. Who was he and how did he get his hands on a rare Rodin sketch? The deeper the team digs, the more worrying the evidence is about the extent to which Rodin's work has been faked by notorious forgers such as Ernst Durig, a Swiss-born sculptor who claimed to be Rodin's last pupil. The team turns to scientific analysis and a handwriting expert in a bid to get to the truth. Will the world's foremost expert believe the picture is a missing sketch by Rodin himself, or a very clever fake?

Watch Now:Amazon
Van Meegeren
star
8.68
41 votes

#2 - Van Meegeren

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired 7/3/2011

The art world can prove a bear pit, with a myriad of tricksters at work. Experts estimate that anything between 20%-40% of works of art on the market are faked. And they can turn up in the most unexpected places. Hanging in one of the most prestigious and respected art institutes in London is a picture Philip has heard of, which may hold the key to unlocking the story of the most audacious forger of all time. A man who dared to fake the work of Old Masters and made millions from his deception, until he was caught in 1945: Han Van Meegeren. But a mystery remains to this day, as Van Meegeren died before a complete record of his fakes was made. How did he pull off faking Old Master paintings, duping important art galleries in to making purchases of works apparently by Vermeer, even foxing Goering in to buying one of his works during the war? Philip and Fiona get to work on the London picture which, legend has it, hung in Van Meegeren's studio on the day he was arrested. Was it his last work? And by testing it, can we prove how he out-foxed some of the most eminent minds in the art world?

Directors: Nicky Illis
Homer
star
8.65
37 votes

#3 - Homer

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired 6/26/2011

In this episode, the focus falls on a painting found dumped by a rubbish tip which turns out to be a lost work by one of America's most important 19th century artists, Winslow Homer. In a shock for all concerned, it is valued at 250,000 dollars. But who legally owns the picture, and why was it found in such an unlikely place? Philip and Fiona investigate.

Directors: Nicola Lafferty
star
8.50
6 votes

#4 - Ben Nicholson

Season 10 - Episode 1 - Aired 8/23/2022

When Ian and Julie moved into their Surrey cottage nearly 20 years ago, they discovered a curious wall painting in one of the bedrooms. They had no idea who put it there. Julie wanted to get rid of it as it didn't match her decor plans, while their four-year-old wanted to colour it in with her crayons.

Cezanne and Pissarro
star
8.50
4 votes

#5 - Cezanne and Pissarro

Season 11 - Episode 3 - Aired 10/10/2023

Could two simple sketches be by great French artists Pissarro and Cezanne? The team set out to gather evidence to prove they’re genuine.

Arshile Gorky
star
8.50
2 votes

#6 - Arshile Gorky

Season 11 - Episode 4 - Aired 10/17/2023

Could a mysterious canvas covered in white paint be hiding a lost painting by one of the most important painters of the 20th century, Armenian-American artist Arshile Gorky?

A King's Last Supper
star
8.44
9 votes

#7 - A King's Last Supper

Season 9 - Episode 4 - Aired 8/18/2021

Anglesey farmer Huw Lewis bought a small painting depicting the Last Supper for £50 on the internet. Can the team prove it’s an eighteenth-century work by the artist Benjamin West?

Watch Now:Amazon
Monet
star
8.40
40 votes

#8 - Monet

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired 6/19/2011

In the opening episode, Fiona and Philip discover what they believe is an unrecognised and valuable painting by Monet. But can they convince the powers that be?

Directors: Nicky Illis
Watch Now:Amazon
A Sculpture in the Brambles
star
8.18
11 votes

#9 - A Sculpture in the Brambles

Season 9 - Episode 1 - Aired 7/28/2021

A sculpture found in the long grass of a Norfolk home bears striking similarities to the work of Henry Moore. Could it be a lost work by one of the greatest 20th-century artists?

Elisabeth Frink
star
8.14
7 votes

#10 - Elisabeth Frink

Season 11 - Episode 1 - Aired 9/26/2023

A sculpture found at a car-boot sale in Essex bears striking similarities to the work of Elisabeth Frink. Can the team prove it’s part of an edition sculpted by her in the 1950s?

Degas and the Little Dancer
star
8.07
15 votes

#11 - Degas and the Little Dancer

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired 9/16/2012

The “sleeper” picture this week is — or purports to be — a Degas. It’s a tiny, charming oil painting of a ballet dancer, but it is not included in the relevant bible of Degas’ works. A nice old gent whose father bought it in 1945 would love to know if it’s worth a few hundred pounds or, if it’s the real deal, half a million. Rakish art dealer Philip Mould and his gloriously named researcher Dr Bendor Grosvenor assist Bruce in tracing the truth.

Cosway or Lawrence?
star
8.00
11 votes

#12 - Cosway or Lawrence?

Season 8 - Episode 2 - Aired 8/1/2019

Can the team prove that a portrait attributed to pioneering female artist Maria Cosway is actually an undiscovered work of the great Regency artist Sir Thomas Lawrence?

star
8.00
5 votes

#13 - Sisley

Season 10 - Episode 3 - Aired 9/5/2022

Fiona Bruce, Philip Mould and the team help Americans Kim and Chuck, who believe their landscape painting is by one of the founders of Impressionism, Alfred Sisley, building a case to prove its authenticity. Kim and Chuck bought the work at auction near Chicago and believe it to be genuine. However, the painting was turned down nearly 10 years ago by the authentication committee, so the team will have to find new evidence to persuade them to change their mind.

Gerome
star
8.00
8 votes

#14 - Gerome

Season 9 - Episode 2 - Aired 8/4/2021

Fiona Bruce and Philip Mould investigate a small oil painting of a man praying in a mosque, a scene filled with meticulously painted and intriguing detail. Its owner, Jon Swihart, bought it at auction in 1999 and believed it to be the work of the nineteenth-century French artist Jean-Leon Gerome, who was a leading figure in the Orientalist genre of painting.

Renoir
star
8.00
14 votes

#15 - Renoir

Season 4 - Episode 2 - Aired 7/12/2015

The team investigate whether a painting is really the work of celebrated impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Watch Now:Amazon
Vuillard
star
7.92
12 votes

#16 - Vuillard

Season 3 - Episode 1 - Aired 1/19/2014

The team must convince a panel of experts that a scriptwriter's picture is an original by the French artist Edouard Vuillard.

Rembrandt
star
7.88
8 votes

#17 - Rembrandt

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired 7/10/2011

In this closing episode, suspicions are aroused when Philip and his researcher Bendor spot a rogue picture for sale in a South African auction house. It exudes all the classic scent of being a 'sleeper', an important picture that has been miscataloged and offered for a very low price. But there is a darker side revealed when investigations uncover that this is a wanted painting, having been stolen by the Nazis in World War II. Records show it was once recorded as being a German national treasure, once thought to have been painted by Rembrandt. A Jewish family have been trying to track it and other works stolen from their gallery ever since. With minutes to go Philip and Fiona manage to stop the sale and release the picture for investigation. Having picked it up from Cape Town, Fiona delivers it to Philip and an in-depth examination utilising the latest infra-red and forensic testing begins. Can it really be by Rembrandt and will it be possible to see it returned to its rightful owners? In an effort to solve who painted it Philip travels to Amsterdam to meet a man with the power of a demi-god; the chair of the Rembrandt Research Project on whose word hangs the verdict that can make the value differ by many millions of pounds. Fiona meanwhile tries to unpick the thorny question of ownership before finally returning the picture to South Africa when the owner of the disputed painting finally emerges from the shadows to tell his story.

Directors: Ben Southwell
Watch Now:Amazon
A Mystery Old Master
star
7.88
16 votes

#18 - A Mystery Old Master

Season 4 - Episode 3 - Aired 7/19/2015

The team investigate how a possible 16th-century Italian old master found its way into a small English church.

Watch Now:Amazon
A Venetian View
star
7.86
14 votes

#19 - A Venetian View

Season 8 - Episode 4 - Aired 8/15/2019

The team investigates a beautiful 18th-century Venetian view. Could this be a work by one of the Italian masters - either Francesco Guardi or Michele Marieschi?

Lowry
star
7.82
17 votes

#20 - Lowry

Season 4 - Episode 1 - Aired 7/5/2015

The team investigate whether three small pictures are really the work of one of Britain's best-loved modern artists, LS Lowry.

star
7.80
5 votes

#21 - Modigliani

Season 10 - Episode 2 - Aired 8/30/2022

Fiona Bruce and Philip Mould investigate a delicate sketch depicting a mother and child, purported to be by one of the modern art world's most famous names, Amedeo Modigliani. Its owner, Henrietta Sitwell, inherited the work and always believed it to be genuine. However, a leading auction house recently cast doubt on its authenticity. If the work is genuine, it could be worth up to £100,000. If not, just a few hundred.

Gainsborough
star
7.71
7 votes

#22 - Gainsborough

Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired 2/9/2014

The team find what could be several important lost works by Thomas Gainsborough in Britain's public art collections.

De Chirico
star
7.70
10 votes

#23 - De Chirico

Season 8 - Episode 3 - Aired 8/8/2019

Bought for just £1, could a small still life be the work of one of the masters of early 20th-century art, Giorgio de Chirico?

Van Dyck: What Lies Beneath
star
7.67
12 votes

#24 - Van Dyck: What Lies Beneath

Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired 9/30/2012

Art detective Philip Mould has a reputation for finding sleepers; paintings that hide dark secrets. His most remarkable finds are pictures whose true authorship has been confused, masterpieces lost beneath years of dirt and over-painting. Although Philip is used to investigating other people's paintings, this time the tables are turned as Philip's own purchase is put under the microscope. With his keen-eyed researcher Bendor Grosvenor, Philip has bought a painting that he says could be the find of a lifetime; a work by our most important portrait painter, Sir Anthony Van Dyck, one which is worth a small fortune. The only problem is that, in order to prove it, he will have to remove later layers of paint to uncover the truth. "It's a bit like open heart surgery" says Philip, as the expensive and irreversible process begins. A thorough restoration is needed, and inches of canvas are cut away as an earlier image begins to appear. Fiona is not convinced, and insists that the work undergoes a thorough investigation and is authenticated by an independent Van Dyck expert. Will Philip's reputation and the painting make it to the end of the journey unscathed?

Landseer
star
7.67
9 votes

#25 - Landseer

Season 9 - Episode 3 - Aired 8/11/2021

Fiona Bruce and Philip Mould investigate a painting that could be the work of the celebrated artist Sir Edwin Landseer. If it is, they will have rediscovered a much-loved Victorian masterpiece that was thought to have been destroyed by a catastrophic flood almost a century ago.