UCL History of Art department stars in BBC One documentary

28 September 2012

Libby Sheldon (UCL History of Art) will feature in the third episode of BBC One programme Fake or Fortune? at 6.30pm on Sunday 30 September.

Ms. Sheldon, who recently retired as Director of UCL Painting Analysis Unit, will be shown helping presenter and art historian Philip Mould expose a possible painting by Baroque artist Anthony von Dyck. The painting had been heavily covered with overpaint, which disguised its original form.

Ms. Sheldon explained: “I was asked to obtain microscopic paint samples, both to see what lay beneath the overpaint, and, then at a later stage, to try to date the paint and make comparisons with what we already know about Van Dyck and his painting materials and practice. The most anxious moment for me, during filming, was when the camera focused on my scalpel blade, taking a sample through the overpaint. It is worrying enough performing this task in private, nevermind with the cameras on your hands.”

The programme, which was filmed in UCL, is the second in the series to feature the History of Art department. PhD student Kathleen Froyen was featured on 16 September analysing the chemical make-up of paint used for, what was confirmed to be, a painting by Degas. Ms. Froyen, who is researching the pigments used in 19th century paintings, proved that the paints used were as expected for a Degas work.

The first episode of the series can be viewed here


Related links:

Episode one on BBC iPlayer
UCL History of Art department