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In May 1909 the Art Fund launched the most difficult appeal of its early history.
Christina of Denmark, Duchess of Milan by Hans Holbein the Younger, circa 1538
© National Gallery, London
- Oil on oak Dimensions: 182 x 83 cm
- Art Fund grant:
- £72,000 ( Total: £72,000)
- Acquired in:
It needed to raise the total cost of this painting in less than a month. The painting has been commissioned by Henry VIII, who considered making the 16 year old Duchess his fourth wife. The work was placed on loan to The National Gallery in 1880 – where it remained on public view for nearly 30 years. When the Duke of Norfolk announced his intention to sell, American and German investors were keen to buy it. The painting was saved at the eleventh hour by a private donation of £40,000 through the Art Fund, offered by an anonymous English woman on condition that her name was never revealed.
Henry VIII, Lumley, Pembroke, Arundel; Dukes of Norfolk.