Rare painting of Henry VIII castle destined to leave Britain

The earliest painting of a castle built in 1538 to mark the 30th year of King Henry the eighth's reign is in danger of being lost to the nation, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport warned Tuesday.

The watercolour of Nonsuch Palace is at risk of being exported unless a buyer can be found to match an asking price of 1,000,000 pounds (1.39 million U.S. dollars).

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey has placed a temporary export bar on Nonsuch Palace from the South by Joris Hoefnagel to give a chance of finding a buyer to keep it in Britain.

Nonsuch Palace in Surrey was considered one of the Renaissance period's most stunning buildings. Built in 1538 to mark Henry VIII's 30th year on the throne and the birth of his son Edward, the palace aimed to rival the opulent residences of the French king Francis I.

Flemish artist Joris Hoefnagel's watercolour is the oldest of only six remaining depictions of the palace. He painted the view of Nonsuch during his visit to England in 1568, detailing the decoration of the palace's elaborate South Front.

Nonsuch remained a royal palace until 1670, when Charles II gave it to his mistress Barbara Villiers, who began to dismantle and sell parts of the building to pay off her gambling debts. By 1690 the palace had all but disappeared.

It is the second time within a week that Vaizey has intervened to keep a work of art in Britain. A temporary bar was place on a Femme, a rare piece of sculpture, also destined to be taken abroad unless a home buyer can be found.

The decision to defer the export licence follows a recommendation by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA), administered by Arts Council England.

No comments:

Post a Comment