Simon Rollo Gillespie

Simon Gillespie
Simon Gillespie Studio Picture.jpg
Simon Rollo Gillespie

(1955-05-26) 26 May 1955 (age 64)
OccupationArt Restorer, Art Historian
Years active1978–present
Notable credit(s)

Simon Rollo Gillespie (born 26 May 1955) is a British art restorer and art historian known particularly for his work with Early British and Tudor portraits, he began restoring in 1978. He appears frequently in the BBC1 art programme, "Fake or Fortune" and BBC Four series "Britain's Lost Masterpieces".

Life and Work

Gillespie was educated at Milton Abbey School and after an apprenticeship for Cabinet Maker Martin Dodgsen and a spell as a viticulturalist in Germany, in 1975 he began his business of restoring and exporting vintage cars, moving onto restoring antiques and early English furniture. After a three-year break travelling to Mexico and founding an English language school, Gillespie returned to the UK and began an apprenticeship in restoration and conservation of fine art paintings. During this time, he completed a chemistry course related to conservation.

In 1982, Gillespie founded his own restoration studio, Simon Gillespie Ltd.[1]

Recently Simon has worked alongside Bendor Grosvenor, Philip Mould and Fiona Bruce. He has been involved in revealing lost masterpieces by Van Dyck including Magistrate of Brussels,[2] and has worked on some recent discoveries of paintings that belonged to Henry VIII.[3]


  • Strong, Roy, Sir, ed. (1999). 600 Years of British Painting: The Berger Collection at the Denver Art Museum Paperback (1999). Metaphor Publishing. ISBN 9780965873321.
  • ‘Art treasure that was hidden beneath years of dirt’, in Arts, Darlington and Stockton Times, 22.03.2013
  • ‘Conserving Contemporary Art; Keep Artists Away from their own work’ in The Art Newspaper, December 2006

Personal life

Simon married Cristina Rule in 1970 and they had 3 sons. In 2014 Simon married Phillipa Found.



  1. ^ Barnett, Laura. "Home is where the art is". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  2. ^ Burgess, Kaya. "Save my Van Dyck for nation, says priest". The Times. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Article of the Week: The Benefits and Dangers of Art Restoration". Spear's Magazine. 4 December 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  4. ^ "Icon Member to feature in new BBC series on Britain's lost masterpieces". The Institute of Conservation. Retrieved 11 August 2017.

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