Britain’s favourite Picasso heads to Qatar after failure to raise £50m

 

One of the best-loved works by Pablo Picasso on display in Britain is set to leave the country next month with Qatar its likely destination. Experts have expressed dismay that Child with a Dove could not be saved for the nation, suggesting steps to increase philanthropy “may not be enough”.

Le Figaro reported that the significant early work had been acquired by Qatar for £50m, and follows pieces by Mark Rothko and Paul Cézanne into the collection controlled by the royal family.

Child with a Dove, which has been in the UK since 1924, was described by the Arts Council as the “probably the most famous work by Picasso in a UK collection”. It marks the move into the artist’s Blue Period.

After the sale of the painting last year by Christie’s on behalf of the Aberconway family in Wales the Government put in place a temporary export bar following advice from the Reviewing Committee, an independent body administered by the Arts Council. However the ban expired in December without any British institution able to raise the money to keep it in Britain.

Lord Inglewood, chair of the Reviewing Committee, told The Independent: “It is a great shame that institutions could not raise the funds necessary to keep this beautiful piece of art in this country.” He continued: “Clearly money was the problem, and while steps are being taken to increase philanthropy in the country, this suggests they may not be enough.”

The painting is currently on display in the Courtauld Gallery’s exhibition Becoming Picasso: Paris 1901. When the exhibition ends on 27 May it will return to Christie’s. The auction house declined to comment on the movements of the painting on its return.

Barnaby Wright, curator of 20th century art at the Courtauld, said: “It is always a shame when great works leave the country.” He added that the image was “incredibly appealing. While some think it is sentimental, I think it has an edge, as well as being a beautiful image. It is the moment that marks Picasso finding his own voice.”

The Picasso expert Gijs van Hensbergen said: “This is a great early Picasso; there’s a good reason why it is popular.” He added: “Pre-crisis, works of that quality and value would never change hands. After the world changed nothing is set in concrete. It is a sad realisation that empires decline and culture goes with the money.”

While Qatar has become a powerhouse in the market in the past few years, it has repeatedly declined to confirm which artworks it has bought despite reports that it paid $250m (£162m) for Cézanne’s The Card Players and $72m for Rothko’s White Centre (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose).

Qatar’s art drive is being overseen by Sheikha Mayassa al-Thani, the daughter of the emir.

Philip Hoffman, chief executive of the Fine Art Fund, said: “Qatar is one of the top three buyers in the world at the moment, and they have huge resources. It has made a huge commitment to making itself the hub of the art market in the Middle East. They are after a lot of major pieces,” but, he added, “there are limits.”

Arabian might: Qatar’s art haul

$250m; The Card Players

Paul Cézanne painted five versions. Qatar is believed to have bought one for a world record $250m in 2011, with details of the deal only emerging months later.

$72.8m; White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose)

The Gulf state is also believed to be the buyer of this work by Mark Rothko which sold at Sotheby’s in New York in 2007 for $72.8m.

The Men in Her Life

Andy Warhol’s portrait of Elizabeth Taylor might belong to Qatar, according to The Art Newspaper, despite contrary claims by agent Philippe Segalot.

Arts and Entertainment
Stewart Lee (Gavin Evans)

comedy

Arts and Entertainment
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West was mobbed in Armenia after jumping into a lake

music
Arts and Entertainment
The show suffers from its own appeal, being so good as to create an appetite in its viewers that is difficult to sate in a ten episode series

Game of Thrones reviewFirst look at season five contains some spoilers
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey on the Red Carpet for 2015's Olivier Awards

Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awards

Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne is reportedly favourite to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

film
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars in dystopian action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road

film
Arts and Entertainment
Josh, 22, made his first million from the game MinoMonsters

Grace Dent

Channel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
News
Disgraced Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson
people
Arts and Entertainment
Game face: Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Ethan Hawke in ‘Good Kill’

film review

Arts and Entertainment
Living like there’s no tomorrow: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the final season of ‘Mad Men’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
Yaphett Kotto with Julius W Harris and Jane Seymour in 1973 Bond movie Live and Let Die

film
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment

film
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
    Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

    Beige to the future

    Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

    Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

    More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
    Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

    Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

    The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own