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Paintings enhance National Gallery’s collection

The National Gallery’s collection has been enhanced by the allocation of two paintings through the Acceptance in Lieu scheme.

The scheme — which has allocated La Ferté by Richard Parkes Bonington (1802-1828) and Samian Sibyl with a Putto by Guercino (1591 – 1666) to the National Gallery — allows people to offer items of cultural and historical importance to the State in full or part payment of their inheritance tax, capital transfer tax or estate duty. The Scheme is currently the most important means of acquiring important works of art and cultural objects for public ownership.

Bonington’s ‘La Ferté’ (about 1825), which has been on loan to the Gallery since 2007, is an oil sketch which beautifully encapsulates pre-Impressionist open-air painting. Visitors to Room 42 might recognise the distinctive brush strokes as the painting featured on the poster of the Gallery’s 2009 exhibition, Corot to Monet.

Guercino’s ‘Samian Sibyl with a Putto’ (1651) portrays one of the pagan sibyls, or seers, who foretold the coming of Christ. Thanks to the allocation the Gallery now presents visitors with the opportunity to view the painting side-by-side with Cumaean Sibyl with a Putto — a similar composition featuring a different sibyl — in room 32.