How those Titians came onto the market

February 23 2011

Image of How those Titians came onto the market

NPR (National Public Radio, in the US) has a good five minute story on how the Duke of Sutherland's two Titians came to be in Scotland, and why they were put up for sale.

It includes an interview with John Leighton, the Director-General of the National Galleries of Scotland. He recalls how the Sutherland collection came to be on loan in his gallery in the first place;

"There's a very nice letter in our archives where the Duke of Sutherland writes to the gallery saying that he finds himself in the embarrassing position of not having enough room," says Leighton. "Would we be prepared to take some pictures by Rembrandt, Poussin, Titian, Raphael on loan?" the duke had asked.

Leighton goes on to say that at £50m apiece the pictures are 'a bargain', and probably half price. He's right. In many ways, the present Duke of Sutherland's handling of the sale is one of the great acts of modern arts philanthropy.  

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