Bendor Grosvenor has an eye for rare masterpieces.
Like the 17th-century painting he bought for a reported $6,700 a few years ago. The artist, John Michael Wright, is among Grosvenor's favorites.
But the portrait needed careful restoration — something Grosvenor, who hosts "Britain’s Lost Masterpieces" on BBC Four — is no stranger to.
He was undaunted, even when a couple of newly formed tears appeared in the painting — a little warm gelatin-and-water solution will do the trick, he told the Sunday Telegraph — before sending it to London to be re-lined.
But Grosvenor isn't the only one in the family with a keen interest in art. Indeed, his cat Padme may be the sharpest critic of all.
Before the painting could be shipped to London to repair those tiny tears, Padme pounced.
"As I stood back to admire my handiwork," Grosvenor tells the Telegraph, "Up jumped our cat, landing forcefully in the center of the painting with a crunch. Disaster."
Padme was thorough in her critique, hurling her entire body at the painting and scraping her claws in a devastating downward motion.
"I bought this example because it was in excellent condition, with all the original glazes and details wonderfully intact," Grosvenor continues.
"Now, it's obviously in less good condition — but at least the cat landed on his clothing, and not his face."
The painting may ever be the same again. But, as Grosvenor told MNN in an email, world-class art restorer Simon Gillespie is on the case. As for Padme, she isn't facing any sanctions for her scathing review of the worlk.
"We're very proud of Padme for helping to bring the work of John Michael Wright to a global audience," Grosvenor added.