British arts minister stops export of Pre-Raphaelite work

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-17 05:04:39|Editor: yan
Video PlayerClose

LONDON, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- Arts Minister Rebecca Pow slapped an export ban Friday on a key work by an English artist so talented he was admitted to the famous Royal Academy as their youngest ever student at the age of 11.

The painting, "Ferdinand Lured by Ariel", is a key early work by John Everett Millais, co-founder in 1849 of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a collective of English painters, poets and art critics.

The export bar is to enable a British buyer to come forward to match the asking price of 9.5 million pounds (11.5 million U.S. dollars) offered by an overseas buyer.

The painting shows the character of Ferdinand from William Shakespeare's "The Tempest". Having been shipwrecked on Prospero's enchanted island, Ferdinand is lured by Ariel, the magician's servant, towards his master by whispering that the prince's father has been drowned.

Pow said: "Millais is one of the most famous and recognizable members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood with his work is still awing audiences hundreds of years later.

"This artistic movement is a key part of British history and this is why we must keep this important work in the country."

John Everett Millais (1829-1896) was an English painter and, at the age of 19, was one of the founders of the influential Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1948. A child prodigy, Millais entered the Royal Academy at the age of 11, their youngest ever student, and went on to become one of the foremost artists of his day.

The painting at risk of export is one of only four Millais works completed during the short lifetime of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood to remain in private hands.