Previous Posts: March 2012

2nd Titian - where the money came from

March 1 2012

From The Guardian:

On Thursday it was announced that £45m had been raised and the Duke of Sutherland had reduced the asking price by £5m. A total of £25m came from the National Gallery reserves, mainly money that has been left in wills to the gallery. Then £3m came from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £2m came from the Art Fund and £15m came from various donations and grants, some from individual donors and some from trusts including the Monument Trust and the Rothschild Foundation.

This is some effort; congratulations to all involved at both galleries. It's great to see that the Duke reduced the price in the end, not least because the total asking price for both pictures, £100m, was some way below their true market value.

I'm staggered that the Heritage Lottery Fund, which is awash with more money than it has ever had, only coughed up a measly £3m. That's about the same as the HLF spent on accomodation, postage and office equipment last year. And about the same as they awarded to the 'People's Memorial & Heritage Learning Centre at Newbridge Memo Caerphilly' (which I don't doubt is a thoroughly deserving cause). But the Titian was a picture that the National Gallery described as its 'most important acquisition ever'. And what is supposed to be the UK's main funder for heritage saw fit to contribute just over 5% of the total. Why does the HLF take such a dim view of acquisitions?

2nd £50m Titian bought

March 1 2012

Image of 2nd £50m Titian bought

Picture: NG/NGS

The National Gallery, London and the National Gallery of Scotland have just announced that the second Sutherland Titian, Diana and Callisto, has been acquired. Amazing. More later, but here's the statement from the galleries:

The National Galleries of Scotland (NGS) and the National Gallery in London are delighted to announce that Titian’s great masterpiece Diana and Callisto has been acquired for the public. 

 This acquisition - along with the purchase of its companion painting Diana and Actaeon in 2009 - ensures that these two superlative works by Titian will remain together on public display in either London or Edinburgh. This also means that the Bridgewater Collection - the greatest private collection of Old Master Paintings in the world – will remain intact on long-term loan at the NGS. 

 Both institutions were acutely aware of the challenges of launching a public campaign during such difficult economic times and therefore decided to approach individual donors and grant-making trusts in the first instance. Our initial discussions led to a number of significant pledges of support, with exceptional charitable grants being offered by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the Art Fund and The Monument Trust. We are immensely grateful to all the individuals and trusts whose generous charitable support has made this acquisition possible.

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