Oxford College sells Ruisdael

March 10 2014

Image of Oxford College sells Ruisdael

Picture: Kimbell Art Museum

The Sunday Times reported yesterday that the Kimbell Art Museum in Texas has bought the above landscape of c.1656 by Jacob van Ruisdael from Oxford University's  Worcester College. The price reported was up to £10m. The Kimbell has confirmed the acquisition, but the College's Provost has said the sale price was 'pure guesswork', and that the amount was confidential. In other words, he didn't deny it. The picture was donated to the college in the early 19th Century, and the money raised is going to build some new bedrooms.

Update - it has been pointed out to me that the picture seems not to have come up before the UK's reviewing committee for the export of works of art. At least, it doesn't feature in cases heard so far this year. The Dallas Morning News tells us that the picture goes on display in Texas in April, so an export licence was presumably granted some time ago. I find this most puzzling. Surely a picture of such importance and value should have been brought up before the main committee? It might have decided that it didn't meet any of the Waverley Criteria, and then let it go. But it seems not even to have been referred up for wider discussion.

Update II - a reader writes:

The export position does seem quite curious. The Kimbell Director is claiming it as one of the 5 or 6 best 17th century Dutch landscapes in the world. [...]

If there was a licence application, it makes one wonder what was said on it.

Notice to "Internet Explorer" Users

You are seeing this notice because you are using Internet Explorer 6.0 (or older version). IE6 is now a deprecated browser which this website no longer supports. To view the Art History News website, you can easily do so by downloading one of the following, freely available browsers:

Once you have upgraded your browser, you can return to this page using the new application, whereupon this notice will have been replaced by the full website and its content.