Fake! The Great Masterpiece Challenge

Various locations, Nationwide, United Kingdom

Saturday, July 2, 2016 - 10:00 to Monday, August 1, 2016 - 17:00

This July is set to provide some fun for the nation’s art lovers: Seven paintings in six national galleries have been replaced with copies. This is for Fake! The Great Masterpiece Challenge ­ - a new Sky Arts TV series presented by Giles Coren and art historian Rose Balston, which will encourage us all to take a closer look at paintings in public collections. The public is invited to participate in the art treasure hunt and to find the ‘fakes’ swapped for masterpieces on the walls of some of the country’s favourite galleries.

The participating galleries are:

  • at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, the fake will be hidden in a display on ‘The Art of The Stuart Courts’, including portraits of Mary Queen of Scots, James I and Charles II.
  • at the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight, Wirral, the copy will be placed amid a collection of ‘Golden Age English Portraiture’ by the likes of Sir Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough and George Romney.
  • at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, the copy will be hidden amongst paintings of ‘Animal and Sporting Art’ from the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • at the National Museum Cardiff, the copy has been made of a ‘British Landscape’ amongst masters such as J.M.W Turner and Richard Wilson.
  • at the Guildhall Art Gallery in London, the imposter hides amongst the collection of ‘Victorian Narrative Painting’
  • Manchester Art Gallery’s popular display of ‘Pre-Raphaelite’ paintings with works by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Ford Madox Brown, John Everett Millais and William Holman Hunt will hide one masterpiece which is not all that it seems
  • Manchester Art Gallery is also creating a special display of paintings of the city by LS Lowry and Adolphe Valette; one of which will be a copy

All seven displays will also be available for investigation online, via the competition website: skyartsfake.com

The initiative will run until 1 August, before the original paitings will be brought back.


United Kingdom
Guildhall Art Gallery, London, EC2V 5AE
Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight, Wirral, CH62 5EQ
Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3JL
National Museum Cardiff, Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF10 3NP
Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 1 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JD
Walker Art Gallery, William Brown Street, Liverpool, L3 8EL