The Duke of Sutherland’s £100 million deal to keep his Titians in Britain just can’t seem to close. First, there was an extension on the deadline as the museums scrambled to raise money. Then, the Duke complained that the nation was getting a bargain and had taken advantage of his good nature in dawdling with their fundraising.
Now there seems to be a difference of opinion on the real point of the purchase. Was it to secure the whole of the Bridgewater collection? or just the two Titians?
The Times of London reports on an upcoming story in The Art Newspaper:
Keeping the Bridgewater collection for the next generation is seen as an integral part of the case for spending £100 million on two paintings during a recession. The deal was pitched as a way to get twenty-seven Old Master paintings for the price of two.
The Bridgewater pictures are the star attraction of the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh, where they have been on loan for 63 years. The best known of them, and the focus for the fundraising campaign, are the two monumental Titians, but they also include pieces by Poussin, Raphael, Rembrandt, Rubens, Tintoretto and another pair of Titians.
Most of them were bought from the estate of the Duke of Orleans, who was soon to be guillotined, during the French Revolution and passed into the hands of Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, a noted coal baron and canal builder. He died childless, and his heirs, the Dukes of Sutherland, inherited the artworks.
£100m deal to buy Titians is delayed by wrangle with duke (Times of London)