He even fakes the modesty
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