Entertainment & Arts

Export bar on rare St Luke painting while £3.3m buyer sought

St Luke Drawing the Virgin and Child Image copyright DCMS
Image caption Dieric Bouts is considered a pioneer of the oil painting technique

The government has placed an export bar on a rare painting of St Luke Drawing the Virgin and Child by artist Dieric Bouts.

The 15th Century oil painting has been valued at £3.3m.

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said: "This distinctive painting is the only example of St Luke drawing the Virgin Mary and Christ by a Northern European artist on display in this country."

An export licence application will be deferred until 26 February 2016.

The decision follows a recommendation by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest.

Spokesman Lowell Libson said: "This painting includes not only a painter making a drawing - a study from 'life' - but also a delightful passage which reveals a tantalising glimpse of a painter's studio."

The painting depicts St Luke drawing the Virgin Mary and Christ, a popular subject in 15th Century Netherlands.

Bouts was one of the leading and most influential painters of this period and is considered a pioneer of the oil painting technique.

The export bar may be extended until 26 June 2016 if a serious buyer in the UK is found.

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