Zurbarán paintings to stay at Auckland Castle

  • 31 March 2011

The recent announcement that the 13 remarkable Zurbarán paintings will remain in their home at Auckland Castle is thanks to a staggering £15million donation by Investment Manager and philanthropist Jonathan Ruffer.

The 17th century portraits of Jacob and his sons by Spanish artist Francisco de Zurbarán, which were under threat of being sold by the Church Commissioners, will now remain where they have hung since 1756.

The intention is for Auckland Castle, the current home of the Bishop of Durham, to become a leading public heritage site, bringing tourism and economic regeneration to the North East. We are in discussion with the Church Commissioners along with Durham County Council, the National Trust, the Department for Media, Culture and Sport, and the National Gallery about the broader future for Auckland Castle and the paintings within.

Our priority has always been that the paintings remain on display, ideally with improved accessibility, and in the home in which they have hung for over 250 years. Jonathan Ruffer’s £15 million donation is astonishingly generous and we look forward to continuing to work with him and all the partners involved to come to a positive solution.