Export bar placed on Blake paintings
Thursday 31 March 2005
A valuable collection of William Blake watercolours discovered lying in a Glasgow bookshop has been stopped from leaving the country.
The Government has placed a temporary export bar on the set of 19 paintings, which have been valued at £8.8m.
It was five years ago that the highly-finished watercolours by one of Britain's leading Romantic artists were discovered in the bookshop. They found their way there following the death of their former owner who was unaware of their value.
Experts called it "arguably the most important discovery since Blake [who lived from 1757 to 1827] started to be appreciated in the second half of the 19th century".
The paintings were commissioned in 1804 to illustrate a new edition of The Grave, a meditation on mortality and redemption, written by the Scottish poet Robert Blair in 1743. Seven of the watercolours were unknown to modern scholars.
Estelle Morris, the Arts minister, acted on the recommendation of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art by placing the temporary export bar. It is hoped the works, which mark a vital element in the development of British Romanticism, will be saved for the nation.
The value of the artworks was discovered when two booksellers from Yorkshire acquired the paintings and took them for independent valuation. Two Tate gallery experts verified the find.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 2 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 War is war: Why I stand with Israel
Ian Thorpe gay: Olympic swimmer comes out in Parkinson interview
Gaza-Israel conflict: Pro-Palestinian demonstrators take to streets of London, Paris and New York in wave of protests
Israel-Gaza conflict: ‘Sderot cinema’ image shows Israelis with popcorn and chairs 'cheering as missiles strike Palestinian targets'
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israeli air strike destroys home for the disabled killing two women residents
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israeli PM says conflict may 'continue for a long time' as hundreds of Palestinians flee their homes
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Web Developer ...
£50000 - £67000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# R&D .NE...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...
£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...