Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
£11 million drawing at risk of export
Incredibly rare study by Dutch artist Lucas van Leyden is at risk of being sold abroad unless a UK buyer can be found.
- 500 year old drawing is one of only 28 by the artist known to survive
- Only drawing by Lucas van Leyden not held in a museum collection
Arts Minister Michael Ellis has placed an export bar on a 500 year old drawing worth £11.4 million in a bid to keep it in the country.
The work, A Young Man Standing, by Dutch artist Lucas van Leyden, is one of only 28 drawings by the artist known to survive and his only drawing not held in a museum collection.
Lucas van Leyden (about 1494 - 1533) was primarily famous for his skills as a printmaker. He was the first artist from the Netherlands to gain international fame comparable to that of German Albrecht Dürer and Rembrandt and Rubens a century later.
This drawing is thought to be a study for a projected engraving. It depicts a young man in contemporary clothing and was probably drawn from life. The sitter is most likely a nobleman - or a studio model posing as one - given the sword he is shown wearing.
It is believed to date from around 1520. Early in its history the drawing was stuck onto another sheet, perhaps by a collector to better preserve it, suggesting that even then works by van Leyden were considered precious.
Arts Minister Michael Ellis yesterday said:
This incredibly rare work by Lucas van Leyden is a true treasure. The drawing showcases his skill as an artist and acts as a record of the 16th century world.
I hope that we are able to keep this work in the UK so that the public can enjoy it.
The RCEWA made its recommendation on the grounds of the drawing’s outstanding aesthetic importance and its significance for the study of the works of Lucas van Leyden.
Reviewing Committee member Aidan Weston-Lewis yesterday said:
Apparently drawn directly from a dressed-up model in the studio, this exquisitely crafted drawing offers a charming and rare glimpse into the world of this brilliant but elusive artist.
Van Leyden’s inclusion of credible, contemporary characters like this in his narrative compositions lends them an appealing conviction, and anticipates the work of Pieter Bruegel the Elder later in the century.
One of a small group of the artist’s drawings to have come down to us, this sheet is unlike any of the others in this country and every effort should be made to retain it.
The decision on the export licence application for the drawing will be deferred until 17 July 2019. This may be extended until 17 December 2019 if a serious intention to raise funds to purchase it is made at the recommended price of £11,483,750 plus VAT of £296,750.
Images of the drawing can be downloaded from Flickr.
Notes to editors
Organisations or individuals interested in purchasing the drawing should contact the RCEWA on 0845 300 6200.
Details of the drawing are as follows:
- Lucas van Leyden (about 1494 - 1533) A Young Man Standing
- Black chalk, watermark pot with two handles, cut and laid down 11 x 51/8 inches (27.9 x 13.2cm)
The Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest is an independent body, serviced by The Arts Council, which advises the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on whether a cultural object, intended for export, is of national importance under specified criteria.
The Arts Council champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. It supports a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. www.artscouncil.org.uk.
Latest News from
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
£200 million rollout of full fibre broadband begins20/05/2019 15:15:15
31 schools in rural areas amongst the first to benefit.
High streets to benefit from £62 million heritage boost20/05/2019 12:10:00
New funding will bring old buildings back into use and turn them into offices, housing and creative spaces.
Leading experts appointed to AI Council to supercharge the UK’s artificial intelligence sector16/05/2019 14:20:00
This comes as government celebrates the one year anniversary of the AI Sector Deal as part of the modern Industrial Strategy, which aims to realise the full potential of AI to the economy.
Jeremy Wright speaking at the launch of the TechNation Report 201915/05/2019 14:20:00
DCMS Secretary of State explains why we want the UK to be the best place in the world to start and grow a digital business (14 May 2019).
Call to save judge's copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover used in famous obscenity trial14/05/2019 11:20:00
Arts Minister Michael Ellis has ordered a temporary export bar on the copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover used by judge during obscenity trial.
Margot James speech at Radio Festival13/05/2019 17:05:00
Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, Margot James' speech to Radio Festival.
Simon Armitage appointed new UK Poet Laureate13/05/2019 12:10:00
Simon Armitage’s appointment follows Dame Carol Ann Duffy’s tenure as Laureate.
Jeremy Wright's speech at the Impact19 conference10/05/2019 15:10:00
The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport yesterday highlighted the importance of business, government and civil society working together to deliver inclusive growth.