Georgina Adam gives us the latest in the on-going negotiation between the Prince of Lichtenstein and the UK’s National Gallery over this Spanish Old Master work:
A painting from an English country house has been the subject of some strife between the UK and one of the world’s top collectors. The Prince of Liechtenstein, Hans-Adam II, who devotes some of his estimated $3.5bn fortune to acquiring art, bought the “Portrait of the Infante Don Diego” (1577), by Velázquez precursor Alonso Coello three years ago from Lord Northbrook through the Mayfair dealer Simon Dickenson. The painting was impounded over an export licence dispute, which did not concern the prince, and which is still on-going. After the painting was released, negotiations to sell it to London’s National Gallery for £2m failed after the pound slipped against the Swiss franc and the prince asked for £2.5m, to reflect the new rate. Now, according to Johann Kraeftner, director of the Liechtenstein Museum in Austria, which shows the princely family holdings: “The painting has been beautifully reframed by John Mitchell and looks wonderful – I think the prince will want a lot more for it.” An exhibition of the Liechtenstein art treasures at the Royal Academy, scheduled for September this year, was cancelled by the prince in the wake of the Coello dispute, but talks have been restarted, according to Kraeftner.
Art Market: Fireworks at NY Sale (Financial Times)