He even fakes the mod­esty

The Daily Telegraph - Review - - Books -

that Green­halgh, full-time carer to his el­derly par­ents, pro­duced ob­jects like the Ris­ley Park Lanx, a sil­ver “Ro­man” tray sub­se­quently do­nated to the Bri­tish Mu­seum, the Amarna Princess, a head­less Egyp­tian stat­uette carved from translu­cent al­abaster and bought by Bolton Art Gallery, a ce­ramic sculp­ture of a faun iden­ti­fied as the work of Gau­guin and dis­played in the Art In­sti­tute of Chicago, a duck as­sumed to be by Bar­bara Hep­worth and sold to the Henry Moore In­sti­tute, and a por­trait called La Bella Principessa be­lieved un­til now to be by Leonardo da Vinci.

The Principessa, Green­halgh re­veals in these pages, was painted when he was 18 on a piece of 16th-cen­tury vel­lum found in an an­tique shop. His model was “Bossy Sally from the Co-op”, a check­out girl with clas­sic Seven­ties fea­tures. He sold the pic­ture as a homage for £80 and has no idea how it ended up as a long-lost Leonardo worth £150 mil­lion, a price Green­halgh con­sid­ers, with char­ac­ter­is­tic irony, “crazy”.

From a tightly knit work­ing­class fam­ily, Green­halgh had no artis­tic train­ing and left school aged 16. He first en­coun­tered art in

Frances Wilson en­joys a mas­ter­ful mas­quer­ade by an artis­tic folk hero

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