The portrait was bought by Father Jamie MacLeod, who runs a retreat house in the Peak District in northwest England, for 400 pounds ($660). It is now worth an estimated 400,000 pounds, after it underwent cleaning and restoration to determine its origin, according to a posting on BBC’s website.
The identity of the painting as a Van Dyck was suspected by the show’s host, Fiona Bruce, who asked specialists to confirm it, according to the clip on the BBC’s website. The Van Dyck portrait was identified after Bruce, who was making a show about the artist with adviser Philip Mould, saw the painting and thought it might be genuine.
The painting was authenticated by Van Dyck specialist Christopher Brown as a genuine piece by the Flemish artist.
Van Dyck, born in 1599, became a court painter in England under King Charles I. The work is a portrait of a Magistrate of Brussels and probably was made by the artist in preparation for a 1634 work showing seven magistrates, according to the BBC.
MacLeod wants to sell the painting and buy new church bells from the proceeds, he told the program.
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