Important 19th century painting saved for Wales with Art Fund help

  • 15 June 2010

Today (15 June 2010), Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales announces it has bought a significant painting by William Dyce entitled Welsh Landscape with Two Women Knitting, 1860, thanks to crucial funding grants from membership charity the Art Fund, the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF), and others.

Thanks to the generous support of the Art Fund and the NHMF, who each awarded a grant of £166,000, one major private donor, a number of significant gifts and nearly 150 other individual donors, Amgueddfa Cymru has acquired the painting for £557,218. It goes on display today, 15 June.

Welsh Landscape with Two Women Knitting from the collection of the late Sir David Scott (d.1986) was sold at Sotheby’s, London in November 2008. In November 2009 a temporary export bar was placed on the painting, providing an opportunity for a buyer to raise enough money to keep this important work in the United Kingdom. Amgueddfa Cymru has had an interest in obtaining the work for some time.

A celebration of Welsh rural life, the painting depicts two women in folk costume into a tightly observed hillside in Snowdonia. William Dyce (1806 – 1864) was originally from Scotland and came to Wales for his health and a ‘change of air’ in 1860. He was immediately captivated by the area. This painting, based on sketched material from his excursion, was probably painted in the studio on his return to London.

Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund said: "We are very pleased to have given £166,000 to National Museum Wales to help them secure this significant work by Dyce. It's a perfect example of how  private and public money can work in tandem to secure great works for public enjoyment. Art Fund members have helped the Museum to make some major acquisitions in recent years and we're delighted that the Dyce is now part of that collection."

Over the last ten years, the Art Fund has given over £1.2m to Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales to help them acquire work by celebrated artists including Sir Joshua Reynolds, Alfred Sisley and Pablo Picasso, as well as internationally acclaimed contemporary artists Eija-Liisa Ahtila, James Turrell and Betty Woodman.

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