Cézanne masterpiece at risk of being exported out of the UK

An iconic painting by the post-impressionist master Paul Cézanne that has been on long-term loan to the UK is at risk of being exported if a buyer cannot be found, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has revealed.
Ve sur L’Estaque et le Château d’If (View of L’Estaque and the Château d’If) has been with the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge for close to 30 years and it has become a staple part of the institution’s collection. After three decades, it’s residency has naturally taken on an air of permanency.
Culture minister Ed Vaizey said that unless a buyer comes forward and matches the asking price of 13,522,500, it is more than likely that it will leave the country. For now, as the MP noted, its movement has been restricted.
“For almost 30 years this quietly beautiful painting has adorned the walls of the Fitzwilliam Museum where it has been enjoyed by countless visitors,” Mr Vaizey said. “I hope that the temporary export bar I have put in place will result in a UK buyer coming forward and that the painting will soon be back on the walls of one of our great public collections.”
Mr Vaizey made the decision based upon the recommendations of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA), which is administered by Arts Council England.
THE RCEWA said that this work is of “outstanding aesthetic importance” and has, since its arrival in the UK, become deeply ingrained with the country’s history and national life.
This particular painting is part of a series of works executed by Cézanne of the Bay at L’Estaque on the Mediterranean at Marseilles in France between 1876 and 1885. What is unique about this is that it is the only painting of this quietly beautiful area that was painted vertically.
Moreover, in terms of its cultural importance to the UK, while there are 35 paintings by the French painter in British museums and galleries, there are none of L’Estaque -(excluding this loan).
As such, if it were to be exported, its absence would be greatly felt and “a vital aspect of Cézanne’s achievement [will be] missing from our great public collections”, the government said.
“Cézanne was a painter whose art was forged out of prolonged meditation on familiar motifs,” commented RCEWA member and chief curator at National Galleries Scotland Aidan Weston-Lewis.
“Like Mont Sainte-Victoire, the village of L’Estaque and the Bay of Marseilles beyond was a view he returned to repeatedly during the 1870s and 1880s, and it inspired some of his most ground-breaking pictures of these decades. This is a rare opportunity to fill a significant gap in the UK’s otherwise impressive holdings of Cézanne’s work.”
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