What was thought to be a later copy of Botticelli's work is actually genuine, say a team of experts.
A new episode of BBC Four series Britain’s Lost Masterpieces will detail the findings of art historian Dr. Bendor Grosvenor and other art detectives who solved this Botticelli mystery.
National Museum Cardiff was given the Madonna and Child painting in 1952 by collector Gwendoline Davies, who thought it was a real Botticelli. But experts at the time deemed the work a copy, possibly due to some overpainting and additions.
Analysis and conservation led Grosvenor's team to reclassify the work to the Botticelli studio. Under-drawing and a "doodle" typical of Botticelli himself were discovered with infrared photographs.
Grosvenor said he struck by the "extraordinary beauty" of the Madonna's face when he had earlier viewed the work. “Despite all the overpaint, parts of it reminded me of Botticelli’s most famous painting, The Birth of Venus. I’m now convinced that Botticelli played an important part in its production, and am delighted it has once more gone on public display,” he said.