Britain’s Lost Masterpieces 6 December 2021: Monday on BBC Four

Manchester – Series 3 Episode 2 of 3 – At the Manchester Art Gallery, Dr Bendor Grosvenor discovers a painting of a country gentleman from the 1770s which he believes has been misattributed to Nathaniel Dance. He feels sure it is in fact by the German painter Johann Zoffany, a favourite portraitist of the royal family under King George III. While the painting is restored, Bendor investigates the life of Zoffany – a chancer and adventurer who squandered his royal patronage through a series of predictable errors of judgement.

Travelling to Florence to see the location of Zoffany’s greatest painting, the Tribuna of the Uffizi Gallery, Bendor also visits Parma, where Zoffany painted an extraordinary self-portrait. The artist ended his career in India, where he made a fortune, and Bendor goes to look at Colonel Mordaunt’s Cock Match in Tate Britain with art historian Sona Datta. They unpack the undercurrent of sexual innuendo Zoffany had filled the picture with.

Emma Dabiri investigates Manchester’s support for the abolition of slavery through the history of the gallery’s first purchase – a portrait of the black American actor Ira Aldridge. She discovers the story of the Manchester Art Treasures exhibition of 1857, the largest art exhibition ever held in Britain, and looks into the Manchester Gallery attacks by three suffragettes in 1913.



About Britain’s Lost Masterpieces

Series tracking down lost and hidden paintings from local museums and galleries.

This show is broadcast on BBC Four, also known as the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Latest Episodes of Britain’s Lost Masterpieces

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