Manet portrait of Mademoiselle Claus stays in Oxford

image captionThe portrait's subject is Fanny Claus, a close friend of Manet's wife

A campaign to keep an acclaimed 19th Century impressionist painting in the UK has been successful.

The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford needed £7.83m to acquire Edouard Manet's portrait of Mademoiselle Claus.

It announced the money has been raised before a temporary export bar was due to be lifted and the painting sold to a foreign buyer.

The Ashmolean's director, Dr Christopher Brown, called the public response to its appeal "overwhelming".

"To have succeeded in acquiring the portrait this year, when the UK is in the international spotlight, is something of which the museum and the entire country can be proud," he added.

The 111 x 70 cm oil painting had been sold to an unnamed foreign buyer for £28.35m.

But Culture Minister Ed Vaizey put an export ban on the picture until 7 August because of its outstanding cultural importance.

It was offered to the museum minus tax at £7.83m.

Mr Vaizey said: "I congratulate the Ashmolean on their campaign and it's wonderful that Manet's painting will now be on public display where it can be enjoyed and appreciated by all."

'Exceptionally important'

The campaign received £5.9m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and a grant of £850,000 from The Art Fund.

The final £1,080,000 was made up of donations from trusts, foundations and private individuals over eight months.

In July campaigners hung 10 replica portraits around Oxford to raise the profile of the appeal.

Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund, described the painting as "beautiful, beguiling and exceptionally important".

Painted in 1868, the subject of the portrait is Fanny Claus, a close friend of Manet's wife Suzanne Leenhoff.

The painting, regarded as one of the most important of the 19th Century, has been in Britain since its sale following the artist's death in 1884.

It will be lent to public museums and galleries in a nationwide tour in 2013.

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