Controversial Manet Portrait Will Remain in the UK
Tags: Art Fund, Ashmolean Museum, Controversy, Impressionism, Manet, Modern Art, UK
A portrait by the French painter Edouard Manet will remain in the UK after a successful 8-month campaign raised enough funds to save it from being exported.
Portrait Of Mademoiselle Claus (1868) was sold last year to a foreign buyer for £28,350,000. However, the government put an export bar on the painting because of its outstanding cultural importance to the nation and presented the country with the opportunity to purchase it for a quarter of the painting’s market value by August 7.
The successful campaign raised £7.83 million through donations from the public ranging from £1.50 to £10,000. The majority of its fundraising came from a £5.9 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £850,000 from the Art Fund.
It will now hang in Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum, who called the public’s outreach “overwhelming.” The museum’s director, Christopher Brown, added:
“The museum is enormously grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Art Fund, other foundations and many individuals who contributed so generously and helped us save Manet for the public.
“To have succeeded in acquiring the portrait this year, when the UK is in the international spotlight, is something of which the museum and the entire country can be proud.
“This is one of the most important pictures of the 19th century, which has been in Britain since its sale following the artist’s death in 1884. Its acquisition has transformed the Ashmolean’s collection and has at a stroke made Oxford into a leading centre for the study of Impressionist painting.”
[via The Independent]
Photo courtesy Ashmolean Museum