Art that IS to be sniffed at: Modigliani sketch is valued at £100,000 expert SMELLS it

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Art that IS to be sniffed at: Modigliani sketch is valued at £100,000 expert SMELLS it

Art to be sniffed at: Modigliani sketch valued at £100,000 after expert assesses its value by SMELLING it

  • Art specialist valued a Modigliani at £100,000 – after leaning in and smelling it
  • The ‘smell test’ by Dr Kenneth Wayne determined the painting’s value
  • He confirmed it smelled of the ‘time it was created’, believed to be from 1915 to 1919

To check the authenticity of a work of art, you can expect an expert to reach for a magnifying glass.

But one art specialist valued a Modigliani at £100,000 – after leaning in and smelling it.

In last night’s episode of BBC One’s Fake or Fortune presenter Fiona Bruce investigated whether a sketch, pictured, believed to be dated around 1915-1919, was by the Italian artist Modigliani.

But it was a ‘smell test’ by Dr Kenneth Wayne that determined its value, after he confirmed it smelled of the ‘time it was created’.

In last night’s episode of BBC One’s Fake or Fortune presenter Fiona Bruce investigated whether a sketch, pictured, believed to be dated around 1915-1919, was by the Italian artist Modigliani.

The president of The Modigliani Project, who is currently overseeing a new Catalog Raisonne of Modigliani’s works, described the sketch as a feel and smell of the time it was created – to convince a group of experts that it was genuine wash.

The discovery was particularly special for owner Henrietta Sitwell who was emotional when she revealed that her late grandfather had met the Italian artist in Paris in the 1920s.

Commenting on the valuation, she said: ‘Although this is obviously a brilliant result, it is the renewed connection with my late grandfather, through this beautiful and delicate drawing, that I am particularly moved by and for which I am grateful.’

Art expert mr. Mold added that there is also a possibility that the subject in the drawing is the same as Modigliani’s famous ‘Little girl with plaits’ oil painting from 1918.

It was a 'smell test' by Dr Kenneth Wayne that determined its value, after confirming it smelled of the 'time it was created'

It was a ‘smell test’ by Dr Kenneth Wayne that determined its value, after confirming it smelled of the ‘time it was created’

“The name Modigliani is a magical one for collectors around the world and it is wonderful to help christen a new and unknown work by him,” he said.

“As a Modigliani rediscovery, it is all the more emotional as it passed through the hands of two people who knew him, and helped establish his legendary legacy.”

The tenth series of the BBC show began last week and documented the discovery of a rare collaboration between English abstract painter Ben Nicholson and amateur painter Fred Murray.

The unique artwork, worth between £50,000 and £100,000 was painted directly onto a bedroom wall in a Surrey home and viewers were shown the moment part of the wall was cut away to save the painting.

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