ART / Artefacts

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The Independent Culture
Visitors to two London exhibitions of old master drawings should be aware of a hidden connection. Had the RA's handlist for its drawings from the Getty collection included provenance, the link with the British Museum's Chatsworth collection show would have been clear. No fewer than 14 of the Getty's works on view were among the 25 drawings which the museum acquired at Christie's sale of works from the Chatsworth collection in 1984. The auction followed a fruitless private sale negotiation between Chatsworth and the British Museum, the reasons for whose failure to purchase have never been adequately explained. It is galling to be able to enjoy only briefly, works of art which might have otherwise been part of the nation's permanent collection.

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