Manet portrait saved for the nation after £8m campaign
Wednesday 08 August 2012
A portrait by French painter Edouard Manet has been saved for the nation after an eight-month campaign raised almost £8 million to buy it.
The oil painting, Portrait Of Mademoiselle Claus, was sold to a foreign buyer last year for £28.35 million but the Government put an export bar on it and under the terms of its sale it was made available to a British public institution for just over a quarter of its market value.
The campaign, which included donations from more than 1,000 members of the public, succeeded in raising the £7.83 million needed to buy it for its new home at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.
Public donations ranged from £1.50 to £10,000 and were added to £5.9 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £850,000 from The Art Fund.
Museum director Christopher Brown said: "The public's response to the campaign for the Manet has been overwhelming.
"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."
The picture, which dates from 1868, is a portrait of musician Fanny Claus who was a friend of Manet's wife and is the first version of his work, The Balcony, which hangs in the Musee d'Orsay in Paris.
Manet, who died in 1883, is regarded as one of the founding fathers of modern art.
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said he was "delighted" the painting would stay in the UK.
He said: "I congratulate the Ashmolean on their campaign and it's wonderful that Manet's painting will now be on public display where it can be enjoyed and appreciated by all."
The painting will be lent to a succession of museums and galleries in a nationwide tour next year.
Review: Of Mice and Men
By opportunistic local hoping to exhibit the work
Fans will be hoping the role finally wins him an Oscar
What do gigantic horse heads tell us about Falkirk?
Finnish Postal Service praises the 'self irony and humour' of the drawings
The actor has confessed to his own insecurities
Allotments are the focus of a new reality show
Arts & Ents blogs
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
An open letter to Nigel Farage: you may smile, but I am not seduced
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Abdullah Deghayes: My son was the martyr of a just cause, says father of British teenager killed in Syria conflict
- 1 Disabled people are trapped in assessment 'nightmare' by PIP benefits regime, says Dr Stephen Duckworth
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Queen turns 88: David Bailey captures another side of the Queen in birthday portrait
- 4 Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
- 5 Criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers