Arts Minister Michael Ellis has placed an export bar on a 500 year old drawing worth £11.4 million in a bid to keep it in the country.
The work, A Young Man Standing, by Dutch artist Lucas van Leyden, is one of only 28 drawings by the artist known to survive and his only drawing not held in a museum collection.
Lucas van Leyden (about 1494 – 1533) was primarily famous for his skills as a printmaker. He was the first artist from the Netherlands to gain international fame comparable to that of German Albrecht Dürer and Rembrandt and Rubens a century later.
This drawing is thought to be a study for a projected engraving. It depicts a young man in contemporary clothing and was probably drawn from life. The sitter is most likely a nobleman – or a studio model posing as one – given the sword he is shown wearing.
It is believed to date from around 1520. Early in its history the drawing was stuck onto another sheet, perhaps by a collector to better preserve it, suggesting that even then works by van Leyden were considered precious.
The decision on the export licence application for the drawing will be deferred until 17 July 2019. This may be extended until 17 December 2019 if a serious intention to raise funds to purchase it is made at the recommended price of £11,483,750 plus VAT of £296,750.