Ed Vaizey, the Secretary of State for Culture, has placed a temporary export bar on the earliest painting of Nonsuch Palace still known to be in existence.
Institutions will have until the end of May 2016 to match the purchase price of one million which would allow the painting to remain in the UK. Vaizey said:
“This watercolour has been in the UK for 400 years. We have very few paintings of the stunning Nonsuch Palace so I really hope we can find a buyer to keep this masterpiece here in Britain”.
The recommendation to impose an export bar was made by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA). RCEWA member Peter Barber said:
“British institutions have a chance to acquire a beautiful object that is of enormous significance for English culture and history. Though drawn after Henry VIII’s death, this exquisite watercolour is redolent of England’s best-known King. It is the most accurate depiction of the palace through which Henry sought to immortalise his reign and emphasise his role as a Renaissance prince and a leader of European fashion. Uniquely it shows details of the external decorations, of which only a few battered fragments now survive, that made Nonsuch, as its name suggests, a wonder of its age, an expression of Tudor pride and power and later a favourite residence of Elizabeth I”.