We are thrilled to announce that Haslemere Travel has been instrumental in raising funds for the £10m purchase of the Anthony Van Dyck self-portrait appeal, led by the National Portrait Gallery and the Art Fund, which was successfully concluded today (May 1st 2014).
The £10m target was reached with the help of a major public appeal, which saw 10,000 individuals donating more than £1.4m. Surrey-based, luxury travel business Haslemere Travel, in association with luxury tour operator Kirker Holidays, donated a luxury holiday prize to Antwerp, Van Dyck’s birthplace, to encourage entries for the Art Fund’s Text & Donate fundraising campaign to buy the self-portrait.
More than 2,216 people entered the week-long Text & Donate Antwerp competition and the lucky winner is now planning his weekend break for two to Antwerp, to be taken later this year, with Haslemere Travel.
Painted shortly before the Flemish artist died in 1641, it has been called “one of the finest and most important self-portraits” in British art. Painted only months before he died aged 42, it is housed in an elaborate, Italianate-English frame with a sunflower motif associated with the artist.
The self-portrait had been sold abroad in 2013 before a temporary export ban was imposed. It was then offered to the National Portrait Gallery for £10m, a reduction on the original price of £12.5m.
That sum has now been raised, including a £500,000 grant from the Art Fund and £700,000 from the National Portrait Gallery’s own budget. The self-portrait will be on view at the National Portrait Gallery in London until the end of August, before embarking on a three-year national tour, starting in 2015.
“It is acknowledged that Van Dyck is one of the greatest artists to have worked in Britain, no other artist has had such a dramatic impact on British portraiture and our Haslemere-based company is immensely proud to have played its part in saving this painting for the nation,” said Gemma Antrobus, managing director, Haslemere Travel.
Photo caption: Gemma Antrobus, managing director, Haslemere Travel, pictured at the National Portrait Gallery with the Van Dyck self-portrait