£14m Poussin at risk of export
January 23 2014
A temporary export bar has been placed on the above fine Poussin, which has been sold by the Duke of Bedford's trustees to an overseas buyer for £14m. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport says:
The painting by Nicolas Poussin depicting the moment the infant Moses trampled Pharaoh’s crown, will be exported overseas unless a matching offer of £14,000,000 is made. The Culture Minister issued the temporary export bar in the hope that a UK buyer can be found in the time allowed.
Ed Vaizey took the decision following a recommendation by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA), administered by Arts Council England. The RCEWA made its recommendation on the grounds that the painting is of outstanding aesthetic importance and significance for the study of Poussin’s art.
Of the 30 or so paintings by Poussin in UK galleries and museums, none are quite so insistently severe in either their colouring or composition as this piece.
The decision on the export licence application for the painting will be deferred until 22 April 2014, although this may be extended until 22 October if a serious intention to raise funds to purchase the painting at the recommended price is made.