Britain’s Lost Masterpieces
In a second series of Britain’s Lost Masterpieces, art sleuth Dr Bendor Grosvenor and social historian Emma Dabiri delve into Britain’s local museums and country houses to look for lost and hidden public treasures.
Pollok House is a country house right in the middle of a Glasgow city park, bordered on one side by the M77 and on the other side by the south side of Glasgow. Owned by Glasgow City Council and looked after by the National Trust for Scotland, it truly is a house for the people, surrounded by the people.
Pollok has an impressive collection of Spanish art, the legacy of Sir William Stirling-Maxwell, the man who once owned the house. Unfortunately, some of Pollok’s treasures have been placed in storage due to a leaking roof and urgent renovations. But could one of these displaced pictures be a priceless work by Rubens, lost for centuries, hiding north of the border?
Dr Bendor Grosvenor and Emma Dabiri travel to Glasgow to investigate a long lost picture of one of the most famous gay men in history painted by one of the most famous artists in history. The subject of the painting is none other than George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, who it is thought to have been the lover of James VI of Scotland (James I of England). But how did he end up in Glasgow?
While Bendor squares up to a rival portrait in Florence which claims to be the real Buckingham portrait by Rubens, Emma finds that William Stirling-Maxwell had a secret family in Jamaica and that sugar and tobacco built Glasgow long before ship building was its major industry.