Rembrandt’s Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet Image via Wales Online Rembrandt’s Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet
Image via Wales Online

The portrait, from 1657, has been at the crux of UK export rules, and will now go on view for three years from this week as part of the museum's Dutch Gallery.

Since 1860, the Rembrandt work has hung at Penryhn Castle, north Wales, but was sold privately last summer at Sotheby's to an anonymous buyer from outside the UK for £35 million.

Last October, the culture minister, deferred an application to export the work, allowing a collection in the UK to buy the work a the same price (£22.5 million including tax breaks.)

As a result, The Art Fund headed a public campaign to purchase the painting for the National Museum of Cardiff. The day before the launch on 26th October, Sotheby's contacted The Art Fund as the licence application was being withdrawn and the painting would now be kept in the UK.

In 2025, 10 years after the export licence application was made and withdrawn, the owner can reapply. By this time, no tax deductions would be allowed for the sale to a public institution, meaning it would be a hard task to raise the funds to buy it at its full price.

The Art Fund are continuing their fight to keep the portrait in the UK.

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