I have just seen on Bendor Grosvenor’s blog that the campaign to save Sir Anthony van Dyck’s 1641 self portrait has been successful. The National Portrait Gallery has raised the money to buy it, and it will be on display there until August 31st before touring the country.
(c) Philip Mould Ltd
This is a great coup. Sometimes I question sending great sums on single paintings – this one cost £10M – rather than spreading a museum’s purchases across a range of other pictures, but this self portrait, painted shortly before Sir Anthony’s death, is totally worth it. The experience of seeing it in the flesh is transformative – painterly and psychologically penetrating, it puts Van Dyck on a par with Rembrandt. It raised my appreciation of Van Dyck to a whole new level and I’m glad I put my 2/6 towards it!