The Two Ivories for the Descent from the Cross finally Acquired by the Louvre


1. Paris, c. 1260-1280
Descente de croix
Ivory
The two acquired statues are on the right
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : Musée du Louvre

1/2/13 - Acquisition - Paris, Musée du Louvre - We had already known for several weeks that the fundraising drive launched by the Louvre for the acquisition of the ivory statues, the Synagogue and Saint John, completing a 13th century Descent from the Cross (ill. 1), had reached its goal. In order not to discourage further donations, the Louvre only communicated the official news yesterday, the last day of the drive.

Over 4,000 donors thus contributed 800,000€, which were then added to the 1,800,000 already found, of which 1.3 million were funded by the Amis du Louvre and 500,000 by Axa Art (a subsidiary of Axa specialized in insuring art works). The Louvre indicated that the average donation was of 154€, with some businesses having given much more substantial amounts.


2. Gustave Courbet (1819-1877)
Flagey’s Oak
Oil on Canvas - 89 x 110 cm
Ornans, Musée départemental Gustave Courbet
Photo : Musée départemental Gustave Courbet

Once again, then, the fundraising system has shown its effectiveness. Just recently, the appeal made by the Département du Doubs for the purchase of a superb painting by Gustave Courbet (ill. 2) also reached its goal, as did the Bibliothèque nationale for the acquisition of the Livre d’heures de Jeanne de France, and also the Musée d’Ingres for the painting representing Ingres Visiting the Drawing School, while donations are pouring in for the Centre des Monuments Nationaux, notably for the restoration of the dome at the Pantheon where work has just started and, in yet another example, last December Lyon succeeded in buying an Ingres painting. In the same way, Fontainebleau will now be able to restore its Boudoir Turc.

We would like to point out that the appeal started by the Musée de Valence for the purchase of a canvas by Hubert Robert is still ongoing, although the mayor of the city might have misled some to think, according to an article in Le Dauphiné Libéré of 29 December 2012, that it had been abandoned. In fact, the mayor appeared to be worried that residents thought the city was going to fund the entire sum, which is obviously not the case. The price is of 200,000€, with Valence contributing 100,000 and the State responsible for an equivalent amount.

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Didier Rykner, lundi 4 février 2013



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