The British government has temporarily banned the export of a painting by Nicholas Poussin which has been in the country for more than two centuries and is worth £19 million ($23 million).
The book titled Confirmation (c. 1637-1640), which depicts a group of children making religious affirmations in a ceremony before a priest and watched by their families, is offered for sale by the British nobleman and 11th Duke of Rutland, David Manners, the Telegraph reported for the first time. A representative for Manners, who oversees a trust that owns the works, said the potential sale will allow trustees of the owning entity to invest in preservation efforts around the Leicester family estate.
Product chick VSConfirmation as part of the late 17th century series, “The Seven Sacraments“, which each represent Christian scenes. The grouping was originally commissioned for the Roman scholar and patron of the arts Cassiano dal Pozzo. The current work first passed through the heirs of Dal Pozzo, then through another prominent Italian family, who sold it at the end of the 18th century to Manner’s relative. The job has been in the UK for 240 years.
Christopher Baker, an expert on the UK Review Board, which is administered by the Arts Council of England and oversees the export of works of national significance, said in a statement that the works in the series were “revolutionary” for their time and that “their restrained classicism had a profound impact on many later artists.”
The UK government’s export ban allows time for a gallery or museum to acquire the work in order to prevent it from leaving the country. The buyer must match its value of $23 million. The decision on the painting’s export license application will be postponed until January 9, 2023, after which the painting’s owner will consider offers from buyers.
“Every effort should be made to support this venture,” Baker added in a statement. “Such a moving painting would represent a powerful addition to the artist’s works in British collections.”