Image by Simon Rigglesworth (or is it a fake?)
The National Gallery held its annual press conference yesterday, as you might be able to intuit from the number of stories floating around this morning. Most reports give top billing to an upcoming show on fakes and forgeries. 'Close Examination: Fakes, Mistakes and Discoveries' will open in June next year and will look at how canny canvas confidence tricksters have duped art experts and curators over the centuries. Exhibits will include a 20th Century pastiche of something 500 years older, a Holbein forgery and a mis-attributed Rembrandt.
Another upcoming show will bring together over 50 paintings by Canaletto and other Venice-obsessed painters (honestly, why's it always Venice? We've got canals in Paddington too). That one opens in October next year. Lower profile exhibitions will also showcase work by Christen Købke and Paul Delaroche (the latter painted the Execution of Lady Jane Grey, one of the Gallery's most stirring canvases).
A final news item to come out of the press conference was the launch of new sections on the gallery's website, including room-by-room tours and full-screen zoom of every painting. The perfect way to view the collection in peace if your visit was ruined by hoi polloi revelers from the Gormley show outside.