A job well Donne: portrait of poet saved

  • 26 May 2006

The celebrated portrait of the metaphysical poet and writer John Donne (1572-1631) has been secured for the National Portrait Gallery, four months on from The Art Fund's £200,000 contribution which launched the public campaign.

The National Portrait Gallery was given until the end of June to raise the £1.4m needed to acquire the portrait, which was mentioned in the writer’s will. The Art Fund marked the beginning of the campaign in January with a £200,000 grant, which was followed three months later by £750,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the government’s fund of last resort. Donors were urged to come forward, and by Monday the outstanding £116,057 will have been raised.

The Art Fund’s Director David Barrie commented, “This is wonderful news – we are delighted that this haunting image of one of our greatest poets has at last been secured by the NPG. But it was far from easy. After The Art Fund’s initial grant of £200,000, the NPG had to launch a public appeal, and crucially depended on help from the hard-pressed NHMF in order to close the deal. Yet another reminder that money for acquisitions is in very short supply.”

Read more in The Daily Telegraph

Take a look at other works saved by The Art Fund

National Portrait Gallery