November 24, 2020

Spare £13m? buy a Cezanne for the nation

Cézanne masterpiece may leave UK – a temporary export bar placed on Vue sur L’Estaque et le Château d’If

An important Cézanne painting that has been on long-term loan to the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge for almost 30 years is at risk of being exported unless a UK buyer can be found to match the £13,522,500 asking price.

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In order to provide a last chance to keep it in the UK, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey has placed a temporary export bar on the painting, Vue sur L’Estaque et le Château d’If (View of L’Estaque and the Château d’If)

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said:

For almost 30 years this quietly beautiful painting has adorned the walls of the Fitzwilliam Museum where it has been enjoyed by countless visitors. 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.

This painting is a vibrant treatment of one of Cézanne’s favourite subjects, the Bay of L’Estaque on the Mediterranean at Marseilles, and is the only example of a view of L’Estaque executed in vertical format. Cézanne painted at L’Estaque from the 1870s and the landscapes he executed in the early ’80s from high vantage points overlooking the bay are among his calmest and most magisterial evocations of the Mediterranean. Whilst there are 35 paintings by Cézanne in British museums and galleries, there are no paintings of the Bay of L’Estaque among them, and consequently a vital aspect of Cézanne’s achievement is missing from our great public collections.

The decision on the export licence application for the painting will be deferred for a period ending on 21 December 2015 inclusive. This period may be extended until 21 June 2016 inclusive if a serious intention to raise funds to purchase the painting is made at the recommended price of £13,522,500 (plus VAT which could be reclaimed by an eligible institution).

Organisations or individuals interested in purchasing the painting should contact RCEWA on 0845 300 6200.

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