Wednesday 16th July 2014

3DD’s new 6 part series will  premiere on UKTV’s Yesterday from August 13th at 9pm

Throughout history, some of the world's most amazing works of art have simply disappeared. Through re-enactment, rare archive, and expert comment we see how these treasures were looted, stolen or vanished into the archives. Some have been recovered but many more are still waiting to be found.

For the last 6 months 3DD travelled across Europe uncovering the great mysteries behind some of the most famous paintings. The series ends with the elusive painter Johannes Vermeer.

A chance encounter between a radical French journalist and a remarkable Dutch landscape in the mid 19th Century was to be the start of the rediscovery of one of the world’s most celebrated, revered and mysterious artists 200 years after he died.  Théophile Thoré came across The View of Delft by Johannes Vermeer in 1842 at the Mautishuis in The Hague.  So taken he was with the painting that he made it his life’s work to find more paintings by the artist Vermeer.

Johannes Vermeer (1632 – 1675) produced only a few paintings in his lifetime reasons are unknown as to why but it could be due to the fact that he was also a Landlord at a rowdy tavern in Delft and also father of 11 children.  The mystery surrounding Vermeer coupled with his limited output has made what artworks he did produce incredibly desirable, two were even stolen by Hitler in his looting during WWII.  So eager have scholars been to find new Vermeer’s that in the early 20th Century, Han Van Meergeren one of the world’s most renowned forgers started to sell fake Vermeer’s for incredible amounts of money.  We also trace his story and how Herman Goring come into ownership of one of his fakes.

The Raiders team travelled to The Netherlands to find out more.  Here we met with Quentin Buvelot from the Mauritshuis, Pieter Roelofs from the Rijksmuseum and Herman Weyers from the Vermeer Centre in Delft. We also had a chance opportunity to speak to one of the world’s leading Vermeer experts Arthur Wheelock.
Other experts helping us in our story are Laura Houliston from Kenwood House, London.  Martin Bailey from the Art Newspaper.  Art historian Calandra Caldecott, Art critic and writer Charles Darwent and Art Detective Charley Hill.

To watch a trailer click HERE

The series will begin airing August 13th at 9pm on Yesterday.

Ep1 - Hitler's Art Dealer
Ep 2 – The Hunt For Faberge Eggs
Ep 3 – Van Gogh’s Guardian
Ep 4 – Monuments Men
Ep 5 – Leonardo And The Mona Lisa
Ep 6- Vanishing Vermeers