The National Portrait Gallery has admitted that the £10 million campaign to keep Van Dyck’s final self-portrait in the country might not have been good value.
“We were under the impression that this was a 17th century Flemish masterpiece,” explained gallery director Paul Nunney, “But it appears possible that it might actually be a more recent work.”
Dick Van Dyke was perhaps the foremost of the Baroque artists, who became the leading court painter in England after enjoying great success in Italy and Flanders, and was particularly known for his snazzy dance routines and convincing cockney accent.
BBC Arts editor Will Gompertz agreed that there was some uncertainty about the provenance of the painting (pictured above), but pointed out that Van Dyke is credited with having had a revolutionary affect on British portraiture, turning away from the formal Tudor approach, towards a more fluid, modern style, adding: “Me ol’ bam-boo, me ol’ bamboo, You’d better never bother with me ol’ bamboo.”
A gallery spokesman admitted this morning: “On closer examination of the work, there would seem to be the possibility that this has been a Supercalifragilisticexpialifuckup.”