Titian’s 'Diana And Callisto' Secured For The Public

The National Galleries of Scotland (NGS) and the National Gallery in London have announced that Titian’s great masterpiece 'Diana and Callisto' has been acquired for the public.

This acquisition - along with the purchase of its companion painting Diana and Actaeon in 2009 - ensures that these two superlative works by Titian will remain together on public display in either London or Edinburgh. This also means that the Bridgewater Collection - the greatest private collection of Old Master Paintings in the world – will remain intact on long-term loan at the NGS.

Both institutions were acutely aware of the challenges of launching a public campaign during such difficult economic times and therefore decided to approach individual donors and grant-making trusts in the first instance. The initial discussions led to a number of significant pledges of support, with exceptional charitable grants being offered by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the Art Fund and The Monument Trust.

'Diana and Callisto' and 'Diana and Actaeon' have been in the UK for more than 200 years. They were both painted as part of a cycle of works for Philip II of Spain and they represent a highpoint in Italian Renaissance art. The paintings left Titian’s studio together and have only changed hands three times since then (from the Spanish Royal Collection to the Orléans collection, and then to the Bridgewater Collection at the end of the eighteenth century). The acquisition of 'Diana and Callisto' means that the pair can remain together in Britain for the enjoyment of the public in perpetuity.

The two paintings were offered by the Duke of Sutherland, to NGS and National Gallery in London on very generous terms at prices significantly lower than their market value. Having raised £50 million in 2009 to acquire 'Diana and Actaeon', the Galleries were given until December 2012 to find a similar amount for 'Diana and Callisto'. To meet this, the Trustees of the National Gallery in London made the unprecedented decision to allocate a significant proportion of their remaining reserves to this acquisition. This sum of £25m principally represents bequests left by members of the public over many years and held by the Gallery for future picture purchases.

John Leighton, Director-General of the National Galleries of Scotland, said: "It has long been an absolute priority for the National Galleries of Scotland to retain the world-famous Bridgewater loan in this country and to keep these superlative masterpieces on view for the enjoyment and inspiration of our visitors.

"We are delighted that the purchase of Callisto will now keep that loan intact and allows the public to continue to enjoy some of the greatest achievements of Western European art. We are hugely grateful to the HLF, the Art Fund and to all the trusts and individuals who have helped to make this possible."

Dr Nicholas Penny, Director of the National Gallery, London, commented: "For more than a hundred years these two great paintings by Titian have been regarded as pre-eminent among the masterpieces in private hands in the UK.

"We have been able to secure both of them for the public, in a period of economic hardship, because of the esteem and affection that both institutions have enjoyed for many decades. It is a triumph for us, but also for our predecessors, made possible by today's supporters, but also by benefactors who have long departed."

The Duke of Sutherland, added: "I am delighted that these two great masterpieces by Titian will remain together as they have been since they were painted in 1556-59 and on view for the public in Britain. I congratulate the two Galleries on their success in securing these works and I would like to express my gratitude for their helpful and supportive approach. I look forward to many more years association between my family and the National Galleries of Scotland through the continuing loan of the Bridgewater Collection."


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