Bendor Grosvenor

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Dr Bendor Grosvenor
Born (1977-11-27) 27 November 1977 (age 41)
NationalityBritish & Swiss
EducationHarrow School
Alma materPembroke College, Cambridge
University of East Anglia

Bendor Gerard Robert Grosvenor (born 27 November 1977) is a British art historian, writer, and former art dealer. He is known for discovering a number of important lost artworks by Old Master artists, including Sir Peter Paul Rubens, Claude Lorrain and Peter Brueghel the Younger.[1] As a dealer he specialised in Old Masters, with a particular interest in Anthony van Dyck.

During 2011 - 2016 he carried out specialist research for, and appeared in, the BBC1 art programme, Fake or Fortune?[2] He now presents the BBC4 series Britain's Lost Masterpieces[3] with Jacky Klein and Emma Dabiri, which began in 2016, and is now filming its fourth series.

Life and work[edit]

Grosvenor was educated at Harrow School, Pembroke College, Cambridge and the University of East Anglia where he completed his PhD entitled "The Politics of Foreign Policy: Lord Derby and the Eastern Crisis, 1875-8".[4] Before becoming an art historian he worked in politics, first as an adviser to the Labour MP Tony Banks, Lord Stratford, and then to the Conservative MP Hugo Swire.

His first major art discovery was a mis-catalogued portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence in 2003 that was being sold at a London auction as a work by Lawrence's pupil, George Henry Harlow.[5] From 2005 until 2014 he worked for Philip Mould Ltd[citation needed], where he made a number of significant art historical discoveries, including lost works by artists such as Sir Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough, and Sir Anthony Van Dyck, on whom he is an acknowledged specialist.[citation needed] He now has his own company, and specialises in establishing the authenticity of paintings.[6][not in citation given] He recently[when?] sold a newly identified portrait by Joan Carlile, the first professional British female artist, to the Tate gallery.[7]

In 2017 he discovered the "lost portrait" of George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham at Pollok House, Glasgow, Scotland. The painting was thought to be a copy of a painting by Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens that had been lost for nearly 400 years, but after restoration was found to be the original by Rubens.[8]

Grosvenor has been a member of the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Council on National Records and Archives, and the Lord Chancellor's Forum for Historical Manuscripts and Academic Research.[citation needed] He also works as a journalist and writer, and presents programmes for BBC2's The Culture Show.

Jacobite portraiture[edit]

Grosvenor has made a special study of Jacobite portraiture. In 2009 he proved that the Scottish National Portrait Gallery's iconic portrait of Charles Edward Stuart by Maurice Quentin de La Tour was in fact a portrait of Charles' brother, Henry Benedict Stuart, Cardinal York.[9]

In 2013 he discovered the lost portrait of Charles Edward Stuart by Scottish artist Allan Ramsay at Gosford House, the home of the Earl of Wemyss near Edinburgh.[10] This portrait is now on display at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, and has taken the place of the La Tour pastel as the definitive portrait of Charles.[11]


The name Bendor is derived from the Grosvenor family's medieval heraldic shield, a bend or, a golden bend (diagonal stripe), which they used until 1389 when it was claimed instead by the Scrope family, in the case Scrope v Grosvenor. The 2nd Duke of Westminster was nicknamed "Bendor".

Bendor is the grandson of The 5th Baron Ebury, and the 4th cousin once removed of The 7th Duke of Westminster. (He is fourth in line to the Marquessate of Westminster after The 8th Earl of Wilton, Viscount Grey de Wilton, and his first cousin Alexander Grosvenor.)[citation needed]

He is also of Swiss heritage.[citation needed]


  • Starkey, David (2007). Grosvenor, Bendor (ed.). Lost Faces: Identity and discovery in Tudor royal portraiture. Philip Mould Ltd. OCLC 122357300.
  • Finding Van Dyck. Newly Discovered and Rarely Seen Works by Van Dyck and His Followers. Philip Mould Ltd. 2009.
  • Grosvenor, Bendor; Hicks, Geoffrey (2009). Crap MPs: The 40 Worst Members of Parliament in History. London: The Friday Project. ISBN 9780007348688.
  • Hicks, Geoff; Charmley, John; Grosvenor, Bendor, eds. (2012). Documents on Conservative Foreign Policy, 1852-1878. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107035928.
  • Rutherford, Emma; Grosvenor, Bendor, eds. (2013). Warts and All: the Portrait Miniatures of Samuel Cooper. Philip Mould Ltd. ISBN 9780992726409.


  • Britain's Lost Masterpieces (2016)
  • Fake or Fortune? (2011-2016)
  • The Lost Portrait of Bonnie Prince Charlie: A Culture Show Special (2014)
  • The Art Detectives (2 Seasons)
  • The Culture Show - Venice: A Tale of Two Cities (2013)


  1. ^ "Brueghels Return to the Fold". The Times. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
  2. ^ "Fake or Fortune?". BBC One. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  3. ^ "Britain's Lost Masterpieces". BBC One. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
  4. ^ "Bendor Grosvenor". Philip Mould & Company. Archived from the original on 24 September 2014. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  5. ^ "Bendor Grosvenor".
  6. ^ "Iconografie".
  7. ^ "Typical!". The Telegraph. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
  8. ^ Slawson, Nicola (24 September 2017). "Lost Rubens portrait of James I's 'lover' is rediscovered in Glasgow". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  9. ^ "Gallery admits portrait isn't Bonnie Prince Charlie". The Scotsman. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
  10. ^ "Lost Bonnie Prince Charlie portrait found in Scotland". BBC News. 22 February 2014. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  11. ^ "Historic lost portrait of Bonnie Prince Charlie secured by the National Portrait Gallery". The Herald. Retrieved 19 October 2016.

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