Everything has its price and when it comes to art it can be a high one. Despite a temporary export ban being put on a valuable piece of art by the Government, once the three month ‘stay of execution’ expired the painting by the French painter Charles Le Brun was lost to the Metropolitan in New York. No one could come up with the $12.3m needed to keep it in the UK which had been its home since 1791.
In February, the Department for Culture, Media & Sport and the Minister Ed Vaizey had proclaimed the painting a national treasure. It portrayed Everhard Jabach and his family in the 17th century and Le Brun added a portrait of himself to the work. Jabach was a great collector and most of his collection is in the Louvre. This painting is one of the few exceptions. It was one of two but the second in the Kaiser Friedrich Museum was destroyed in the Second World War.
The committee that reviews art objects before their possible export recommended the temporary embargo because of the rarity of Le Brun portraits. In February, it was stated that the three months would be extended by a further three if a serious buyer seemed likely, but it did not happen.
There is little chance of anyone in the UK getting hold of a Le Brun, especially a portrait, in the future but there is a financial reality in art which must be faced. The Metropolitan has a section dedicated to 17th century French painting and this purchase will hang there next year after restoration and reframing.
A relaxing hobby
Wouldn’t you like to think you could sit down and paint a valuable masterpiece? You must remember that many of the ‘Old Masters’ were not wealthy; their work was often only truly recognised well after their deaths. You should satisfy yourself with simply painting for enjoyment. If you contact a company that was founded by lovers of painting you will get all the help and materials you need; someone like http://www.jacksonsart.com.
You need to decide what suits you best so you may need to experiment initially. While oils are the most impressive paintings, oil is not necessarily the best paint to use. Some start with acrylics, others prefer watercolours and it makes sense to give them both a try. Certainly if you want to spend time painting out in the fresh air at different locations then you should forget the slow drying oils.
You can travel light with all your materials and a fold-up easel to paint any quiet landscape you wish. If you graduate to more complex subjects and oils then you will need a little more patience. Realistically you will never be a ‘Le Brun’ but hours of pleasure still await you.
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