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Press Releases > Manet Portrait Saved For The Nation To Go On Show At The Bowes Museum
The Bowes Museum is delighted to announce that a painting by Édouard Manet, judged to be of outstanding cultural importance, is to go on show at The Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle.
Manet’s Portrait of Mademoiselle Claus, which two years ago was the subject of a temporary export bar after being sold to a foreign buyer for £28.35m, was last year acquired by the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, following a successful eight month campaign to raise the £7.83m needed to keep it in the UK.
Under the terms of a private treaty sale, the painting was made available to a British institution for 27% of its market value and is described as the most significant acquisition in the Ashmolean’s history. And now this remarkable portrait is to come to The Bowes Museum directly from exhibition at the Royal Academy in London, on the first leg of a tour of the UK which sees it return to the
Ashmolean in 2014.
Manet was one of the greatest painters of the 19th century. During his lifetime he was controversial, but his work, though it shocked the public, was hugely admired by artists. His reputation grew rapidly in the 20th century and consequently his best works were acquired by major museums. There are remarkably few Manets in private collections, almost all in France, and only a handful of important works by the artist in museums in the UK.
Portrait of Mademoiselle Claus is a first version of Le Balcon, now in the Musée D’Orsay, Paris – one of the key images of the Impressionist movement. Said to have been inspired by the sight of people on a balcony in Boulogne, Le Balcon was also influenced by Goya’s Majas on a Balcony.
From the 1860s onwards Manet began to focus his attention on his family and close friends, and the subject of the portrait is Fanny Claus, the closest friend of his wife Suzanne Leenhoff. A concert violinist and member of the first all-women string quartet, Fanny was a member of a close-knit group of friends that also provided the artist with models. She married the artist Pierre Prins, another friend of Manet’s, in 1869, but died from consumption, aged just 30, in 1877.
“This is a rare chance to see the work of the great Impressionist painter Édouard Manet in the North of England,” said Howard Coutts, curator at The Bowes Museum. “Our founder, Joséphine Bowes, was interested in Manet, and lived quite close to him, and I’m sure she would have been pleased to see his work hanging in The Bowes Museum.”
The campaign to keep the painting in the UK received lead support of £5.9m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and a grant of £850,000 from the Art Fund. The final £1,080,000 was contributed via grants and donations from other trusts, foundations and private individuals.
Colin Harrison, senior curator of European Art at the Ashmolean Museum, will give a lecture on Édouard Manet to celebrate the arrival of the portrait, which is on show from 26 April until 2 June. The lecture, which takes place on 2 May at 2.15pm, is included in the admission cost to The Bowes Museum, however booking is required on 01833 690606.
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The Bowes Museum, Café Bowes and Shop are open daily from 10.00. A full programme of events and exhibitions is available by calling 01833 690606 or by viewing the website at www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk.
Notes to editors
Edouard Manet (1832-1883)
Portrait of Mademoiselle Claus
Oil on canvas, 111 x 70 cm
Provenance: Manet’s studio sale, 4-5 February 1884, lot 19, bought by John Singer Sargent; and by descent in the family of
Exhibited: Manet at Work, National Gallery, London, 1983, no. 11
Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of
heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to
archaeology, natural environment an d cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported
more than 30,000 projects allocating £4.9billion across the UK. Website: www.hlf.org.uk.
For more information please contact Katie Owen, HLF Press Office, on tel: 020 7591 6036/07973 613820.
The Art Fund
The Art Fund is the national charity which helps museums and galleries to buy, show and share art for the enjoyment of all.
Over the past five years, the Art Fund has given over £24 million towards art of all kinds, from Old Masters to new media, and
supported a range of programmes which share and show art to wider audiences, including the national tour of ARTIST
ROOMS, the Art Fund Prize for Museums and Galleries, and Art Guide, a pioneering smartphone app offering the most
comprehensive guide to seeing art in the UK. The Art Fund is independently funded and the majority of its income comes
from 90,000 supporters who purchase a National Art Pass, costing from £50, which gives free entry to over 200 museums,
galleries and historic houses across the country as well as 50% off many major exhibitions. Find out more about the Art Fund
and the National Art Pass at www.artfund.org.uk. The press office can be reached on 020 7225 4888 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Export Bar
On the 8 December 2011 the Culture Minister Ed Vaizey placed an export bar on Portrait of Mademoiselle Claus. The ruling
followed the recommendation of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest,
administered by Arts Council England. The Committee recommended that the export decision be deferred on the grounds
that the portrait was of outstanding aesthetic importance and of outstanding significance for the study of French painting of
the second half of the nineteenth century and in particular the work of Manet, one of the leading Impressionist painters of the
period. For more information visit www.culture.gov.uk/news/news_stories/8685.aspx or Sam Gough, Media Relations
Officer (Museums and Libraries), on 020 7973 5189, email: email@example.com
Private Treaty Sales
Items which have been granted conditional exemption from capital taxation (Inheritance Tax (“IHT”), Estate Duty (ED) or
Capital Gains Tax (“CGT”) can be purchased by private treaty by a body listed in Schedule 3 of the Inheritance Tax Act 1984:
(which includes most public museums, galleries and archives in the United Kingdom) at a price which is beneficial to the
public purchaser. For more information visit: www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1984/51. Such a sale will not give rise to a
charge to IHT, ED or CGT. In this case, as the principle is that the owner should not be financially disadvantaged by the
Export Control procedures, all of the benefit will apply to the Schedule 3 purchaser. HM Revenue & Customs will forgo all of
the tax that would be payable if the painting is sold abroad.
Robert Holden Ltd
Robert Holden Ltd is the longest established firm of fine art agents in London. Over the last thirty years, Robert Holden Ltd
has advised private owners, their professional advisors, trustees and museums on the sale and purchase of fine and
decorative art. Most notably we have handled paintings (in particular 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th century British Art), Old
Master Paintings, sculpture, furniture, silver, jewellery, manuscripts, and other antiques. For more information visit:
The Ashmolean Museum
Founded in 1683, the Ashmolean is Britain’s oldest public museum and possibly the oldest museum in the world. In 2009 it
reopened following a £61 million redevelopment. The new Ashmolean building, designed by award-winning architect Rick
Mather, has received universal acclaim and numerous awards. It houses 39 new galleries, including the new special
exhibition galleries, an Education Centre, state-of-the-art conservation studios, and Oxford’s first roof-top restaurant.
Although completely invisible behind Charles Cockerell’s neo-classical façade, the Rick Mather building has provided the
Museum with 100% more display space and the facilities to launch a major exhibitions programme. In 2011 six new galleries
of Ancient Egypt and Nubia opened to the public, following a second phase of redevelopment. The redisplay of the Egyptian
collections takes visitors on a chronological journey covering more than 5000 years of human occupation of the Nile Valley.
The Ashmolean is now the most visited museum in the country outside London. Admission is free.
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European art at the Ashmolean
The Ashmolean’s collections include European paintings, sculpture and applied arts, and one of the finest collections of
drawings and prints in the world. Highlights include well-known masterpieces such as Paolo Uccello's Hunt in the Forest and
Claude Lorrain's Ascanius shooting the Stag of Sylvia. There are important displays of Italian Renaissance art, Flemish and
Dutch 17th-century paintings (including the Daisy Linda Ward Collection of still-life paintings), the Pre-Raphaelites (mainly
from the Combe Bequest of 1895) and the work of Camille Pissarro and his family (thanks to several gifts from the Pissarro
family). The Ashmolean holds the following works by Manet: two beautiful unfinished oils, A Garden Urn and A Basket of
Pears, both formerly owned by the German Impressionist, Max Liebermann; as well as an early landscape, a watercolour of
one of Manet’s most famous compositions, Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe, and a number of other drawings.
The Bowes Museum
• The Bowes Museum was created over 100 years ago by an extraordinary couple, John and Joséphine Bowes. Together they built up the greatest private collection of fine and decorative arts in the North of England and constructed a magnificent building to house them in. The collection contains thousands of objects including furniture, paintings, sculpture, ceramics, textiles and many other items covering an extensive range of European styles and periods.
• The Bowes Museum receives a core funding grant from Durham County Council and as a Major Portfolio Museum, receives support from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport through the Arts Council England’s Renaissance programme. Additional revenue funding specifically for the Museum’s acclaimed exhibition programme is provided by The John Ellerman Foundation and The Friends of The Bowes Museum.
• The Bowes Museum has recently undergone major redevelopment. This work was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, One NorthEast through the County Durham Economic Partnership, English Heritage, Northern Rock Foundation, The Monument Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Foyle Foundation, The European Regional Development Fund, DCMS/Wolfson Museum and Galleries Improvement Fund, Designation Challenge Fund, The Shears Foundation, The Richard and Suzanna Tonks Family Fund at County Durham Foundation, Durham County Council, The Friends of The Bowes Museum, The Headley Trust, Sir James Knott Trust, Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust, Fenwick Ltd, Mercers Charitable Foundation, Welton Foundation.
• Normal admission to the museum: Adults £9.00, Concessions £8.00, Six Month Pass £12.00, Children Free (under 16s). Admission allows access to all exhibitions, permanent displays and some events. Admissions are donation inclusive and are eligible for Gift Aid. If you do not wish to make a charitable donation admission prices are: Adults £8.15, Concessions £7.25, Six Month Pass £10.00, Children (under 16) and carers free.
• The Bowes Museum is a member of the Discover Durham partnership of attractions. Our commitment is to promote Durham as an exciting and vibrant group travel destination and to provide the travel trade with a professional and knowledgeable service: hotline number 0191 301 8531, www.discoverdurham.co.uk