Rembrandt copper plate portrait receives export ban

An important Rembrandt self-portrait, which the Dutch artist painted on copper plate, is to remain in the UK, having become the subject of a recent export ban.

Rembrandt Laughing export ban
Rembrandt Laughing

Rembrandt Laughing, a circa 1620 oil on copper plate, was bought at auction by Los Angeles' Getty Museum in May.

However, UK culture minister Ed Vaizey has refused to grant the painting an export licence until October.

Vaizey comments: "The UK's galleries may already have an impressive array of Rembrandts, but nothing from this period of this great artist's career. I hope that my deferral of the export licence will allow time for a buyer to come forward and secure this exquisite painting for the nation, where it can be studied and enjoyed by all."

Getty Museum director Timothy Potts told the LA Times that the museum hoped to add "lustre" to their collection with Rembrandt's "most sustained and remarkable achievement".

The highest price paid for a Rembrandt at auction was £20.2m ($33m) in 2009, for his Portrait of a Man, Half-Length, With His Arms Akimbo.

A British government press release states that £16.5m ($25m) will secure Rembrandt Laughing.

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