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Throughout its history, the Gallery has diligently sought expert advice when acquiring paintings. However, despite acting with the best knowledge available at the time, not all acquisitions have turned out as intended.

Close Examination: Fakes, Mistakes and Discoveries explores some of the stories of mistaken identity behind National Gallery paintings.

These case studies demonstrate how Gallery experts have occasionally been misled – and how their mistakes were discovered.

  1. Feature
    Are two almost identical versions of Perugino's 'The Baptism of Christ' fakes or respectful copies?
  2. Feature
    Uncover the dramatic tale of the Gallery’s first ‘Holbein’
  3. Feature
    Will scientists and connoisseurs ever determine who painted this mysterious portrait?
  4. Feature
    Find out about the scandal that erupted following the purchase of these two dramatic panels
  5. Feature
    Discover how recent research has challenged the authorship of this small self portrait