Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum has announced that it had succeeded in an eight-month campaign to save Edouard Manet’s ‘Portrait of Mademoiselle Claus’ for the nation.
The painting from the late 1860s had remained in the UK after it was bought by the artist John Singer Sargent and it descended in the family of his sister.
In 2011 it was purchased privately by an overseas buyer for £28.35m, but after being placed under a temporary export ban it was made available to a British public institution for a figure well below its market value and it was finally purchased by the Ashmolean for £7.83m through London fine art agents Robert Holden Ltd.
The museum received major grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund (£5.9m) and the Art Fund (£850,000) as well numerous donations from members of the public.
The work itself is a study for one of the key images of the Impressionist movement - Manet's The Balcony, which hangs in the Musée d'Orsay, Paris.