Export bar on Van Dyck masterpiece

By Terri Judd
Saturday 30 November 2002 01:00

The Government placed an export ban on another masterpiece yesterday as part of a continuing campaign to keep important works of art in the country.

Baroness Blackstone, the Minister of State for the Arts, placed a temporary bar on a study of a bridled grey stallion by Sir Anthony Van Dyck worth more than £837,000.

The reverse of the painting is what has attracted most attention. Covered until recently by a lining canvas, it revealed a landscape sketch, believed to be the only evidence of how five lost Van Dycks – listed in collections in Antwerp in the 17th century – might have looked.

The ban, until 29 January, comes a day after similar orders on a recently discovered early Michelangelo as well as a piece by the 18th-century British artist Benjamin West. The ruling is intended to allow enough time to raise money to keep the painting in the United Kingdom.

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