Save Van Dyck: £3.2m raised so far

The Art Fund and the National Portrait Gallery are pleased to announce that the fundraising campaign for Van Dyck's final self-portrait has so far raised £3.2m.

Back in October, we launched an appeal to help the National Portrait Gallery acquire Sir Anthony Van Dyck’s magnificent final self-portrait. Today, we are thrilled to announce that we have received over £3.2m in donations.

The painting was recently bought by a private collector, who wishes to take it overseas, but it is currently under an export bar, giving us the chance to raise funds with the National Portrait Gallery. The £3.2m raised so far includes a £1m pledge from the Monument Trust – the largest single gift given to the campaign. A further £1m has been generously donated by the public, with more than 5,600 individual contributions received from around the world.

The Save Van Dyck campaign began with an initial £1.2m from the Gallery and the Art Fund, including a grant of £500,000 from the Art Fund (with an additional £150,000 offered towards a nationwide tour of the painting) and £700,000 from the Gallery’s Portrait Fund and acquisition budget. That current export bar expires on 14 February, but may be extended for a further five months.

Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, London, says, ‘This is an incredibly generous response from the Monument Trust and from so many people across the country. Every pound really counts in helping to make it possible to keep this great painting on public view. The most common gift we have received from members of the public is £10, which goes to show that gifts in all amounts make a huge difference and continue to be vital in our efforts to save this outstanding self-portrait for the nation.’

Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund, says, ‘There is a groundswell of support for the campaign to stop Van Dyck’s final self-portrait from leaving the country and to put it on the walls of the National Portrait Gallery. Given the achievements of the past 10 weeks, this could turn out to be the Art Fund’s most successful ever public campaign to save a work of art since our foundation in 1903. But the fight is not yet won, and we must continue to fundraise from all quarters to prevent this work from slipping from our grasp.’

Eighteen students from the Prince’s Drawing Clubs (pictured), part of the Prince’s Drawing School, recently visited the Gallery to record their impressions of the portrait. They included Daniel, 11, who said, ‘I liked drawing the frame, which had great contrasts with the darks and lights’, and Maya, 11, who said: ‘The portrait has charm. I liked the contrast between his face and that background. He had made good colour choices and the eyes were really eye-catching.’

The Prince’s Drawing Clubs is a unique outreach programme providing free mentoring and tuition in drawing for state-educated children aged 10-18. The Clubs were set up by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2007 and there are now 10 Clubs across London and one in Glasgow.

Please donate to our campaign, so that art lovers of all ages can enjoy the portrait for hundreds of years to come. Text VANDYCK to 70800 to give £5 or donate online. If you'd like to see the painting in person, it's currently hanging in room 15 at the National Portrait Gallery. Thank you for your support!

Back to top