The Ashmolean Museum last Friday unveiled a Manet painting hidden to the public eye for the past 29 years and launched a campaign to raise £7.83 million to buy it for the nation.
The painting, titled ‘Portrait of Mademoiselle Clause’ was painted by the French artist in 1868 and depicts a young violinist sitting on a balcony.
Christopher Brown, director of the Ashmolean, said: “I find it difficult to over-emphasise the importance of this picture. Manet is a profoundly radical artist and this is a key picture.”
Prior to last Friday’s unveiling the painting had only been displayed in public once at the National Gallery in 1983.
The painting however, may not be on British soil for long. Last Christmas, a foreign buyer purchased the painting for £28.34 million, but the government has placed a temporary export bar on the transaction.