Sometimes it is tempting to believe that the significant works of art have all been found; that the inventories of our national museums are already set-in-stone. Yet each year, these institutions make great efforts to acquire new works for their collections.
Scholarship is also on the move. Forgotten artists are constantly receiving the attention they deserve. And as their lives are better understood, their works exhibited to a wider public, so is the likelihood that they catch the eye of influential critics and museums. Suddenly works once within the financial reach of many of us can now only be afforded by a select few.
I spend my time looking for them before they reach their financial potential. But how do we know what we are looking for? Or when we have found them? The process is often frustrating and can take many years of patient research. They sometimes require conservation. And the painting on the surface is rarely the one beneath.
I am a researcher and art dealer with an interest in portraits and overlooked talents. A contributor to academic publications, such as the British Art Journal, I endeavour to find museum-quality paintings.