Catherine Martin Cézanne’s ‘La Vie des Champs’

Cézanne’s ‘La Vie des Champs’

ARTS MINISTER Catherine Martin was delighted to bask in the positive publicity surrounding the purchase by the National Gallery of Ireland (NGI) of Paul Cézanne’s tidy little painting, ‘La Vie des Champs’. It will be interesting to see just how much of the final tab has been accounted for by this latest special grant.

When the NGI previously came calling for a helping hand to acquire Jack B Yeats’s ‘Bachelor’s Walk In Memory’ (1915), which had been on loan to the NGI since 2009, Catherine Martin greenlighted a grant of up to €1.4m, although mandarins made it clear that any grant should be “complemented to the fullest extent possible by funds from the gallery and any philanthropic donations that can be raised in the time available”.

It turned out that of the €1.5m paid for the work, including fees and commissions, €1.25m came from the department.

This time around, Goldhawk can reveal that when approached by NGI director Caroline Campbell about the possibility of acquiring the Cézanne work, the arts minister was able to provide “official support of €1.85m to complete the purchase”.

This amount is completely separate to the annual €12m-plus funding provided to the NGI from the state coffers. Moreover, the allocation of just on €2m by Catherine Martin et al will have a predictable knock-on effect for other cultural institutions. As was made clear in records released to Goldhawk about that special Yeats allocation, that moolah had “implications for other bodies and interests contending for assistance at this time”.

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