Manet - Mademoiselle Claus

Edouard Manet
Portrait of Mademoiselle Claus

Manet's 'Mademoiselle Claus' bought by the Ashmolean



Following an 8 month campaign and with donations from hundreds of members of the public, the Ashmolean Museum has succeeded in raising £7.83 million to acquire Edouard Manet’s Portrait of Mademoiselle Claus and keep it in the United Kingdom.

August 9, 2012, source: Ashmolean Museum

The painting was purchased by a foreign buyer in 2011 for £28.35 million. Following advice from the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art, the picture was judged to be of outstanding cultural importance and was placed under a temporary export bar until 7 August 2012 by Culture Minister Ed Vaizey. Under the terms of a private treaty sale, the painting was made available to a British public institution for 27% of its market value, and it was purchased through the London Fine Art agent, Robert Holden Ltd. It is the most significant acquisition in the Ashmolean’s history.

Dr Christopher Brown CBE, Director of the Ashmolean, said, “The public’s response to the campaign for the Manet has been overwhelming. The Museum is enormously grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Art Fund, other foundations and many individuals who contributed so generously and helped us save Manet for the public (...) This is one of the most important pictures of the 19th century which has been in Britain since its sale following the artist’s death in 1884. Its acquisition has transformed the Ashmolean’s collection and has at a stroke made Oxford into a leading centre for the study of Impressionist painting.”

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said, “I am delighted that the temporary export bar I placed on the painting has resulted in the Ashmolean being able to acquire this fantastic work by one of the greatest painters of the 19th Century. I congratulate the Ashmolean on their campaign and it’s wonderful that Manet’s painting will now be on public display where it can be enjoyed and appreciated by all.”

The campaign has received lead support of £5.9 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), and a grant of £850,000 from The Art Fund. The final £1,080,000 was contributed via grants and donations from trusts, foundations and private individuals.


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