Mystery Masterpieces at the Manor

On display from 28 May 2021

Free with Preston Manor admission, members free

Preston Manor re-opens this season with two incredible and mysterious paintings on display from our Fine Art collection. The two beautiful paintings were recently the stars of BBC Four’s programme Britain’s Lost Masterpieces.

Presenter Emma Dabiri with the Balthazar painting

Find out how the team solved the mystery of the paintings’ true origins and see the incredible methods used to authenticate them beyond doubt as two of the world’s great Lost Masterpieces!

The two beautiful paintings have been in our collection for many years but were wrongly attributed.  Mary Magdalene was recorded as by an unknown artist (Italian School). Balthazar was thought to be by Bernaert van Orley. The Lost Masterpieces team visited us to investigate the paintings. They used scientific sleuthing techniques, x-rays and infrared lighting, and then sifted through many museum records to find out more. The team eventually discovered that they had been painted by completely different artists: Francesco Trevisani painted Mary Magdalene and Joos Van Cleve painted Balthazar.

The TV programme can be watched on the BBC iPlayer until February 2022.