A statement was released on gov.uk, which began with: "One of Rembrandt's greatest late portraits is at risk of being exported from the UK unless a buyer can be found to match the asking price of £35 million."

"If a serious intention to raise funds to purchase the painting is made at the recommended price of £35,000,000 (plus VAT of £660 000)."

The ban will be in force until 15th February 2016 and there are talks of extending it until 16th October of the same year.

Rembrandt, Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet, 1657 Image via Gov.uk Rembrandt, Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet, 1657
Image via Gov.uk

Ed Vaizey also shared on his twitter: "This Rembrandt painting has been enjoyed by the UK public for more than 250 years and provides a fascinating glimpse into history, helping us to better understand how society and art have evolved over the centuries," Vaizey is quoted in the release, and on Twitter. "It's important that paintings, especially one as famous as this, are available for our students to learn from. I hope that the temporary export bar I have put in place will result in a UK buyer coming forward to buy the Rembrandt painting to save it for the nation."

Rembrandt's work has been in the UK for over two centuries and has been on display at both the National Museum of Wales and the Ashmolean Museum. In 1860, it was originally purchased for the National Trust's Penrhyn Castle in North Wales.  The piece was on display at last year's "Rembrandt: The Late Works" exhibition at National Gallery, London, and then went on to the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.