Independent agency Haslemere Travel has been instrumental in raising funds for the £10 million purchase of a celebrated Van Dyck self-portrait.
The Sir Anthony Van Dyck self-portrait appeal, led by the National Portrait Gallery and the Art Fund, which was concluded with the £10m target reached with the help of a major public appeal.
This involved 10,000 people donating more than £1.4 million.
Surrey-based Haslemere Travel and Kirker Holidays donated a holiday prize to Antwerp, Van Dyck’s birthplace, to encourage entries for the Art Fund’s Text & Donate fundraising campaign to buy the self-portrait.
More than 2,216 people entered the week-long text and donate Antwerp competition last month.
Painted shortly before the Flemish artist died in 1641, it has been called “one of the finest and most important self-portraits” in British art and is housed in an elaborate, Italianate-English frame.
Described as a work of huge international importance, the self-portrait had been sold abroad in 2013 before a temporary export ban was imposed. It was then offered to the National Portrait Gallery for £10 million, a reduction on the original price of £12.5 million.
Haslemere Travel managing director Gemma Antrobus said: “It is acknowledged that Van Dyck is one of the greatest artists to have worked in Britain; no other artist has had such a dramatic impact on British portraiture and our Haslemere-based company is immensely proud to have played its part in saving this painting for the nation.”
Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund, said: “The campaign to save this remarkable painting has stirred up astonishing public support – making it one of the most successful appeals of the last 100 years.”
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