Skip to main content Skip to site map (in footer)

Important work by Corot and Degas acquired for the nation from Lucian Freud’s estate

  • Date: 4 February 2013
  • Area: National
Degas bronze sculpture of a horse galloping

Horse Galloping on Right Foot by Edgar Degas. Credit: Photo: courtesy the Estate of the late Lucien Freud

A painting by French artist Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot and three bronze sculptures by Edgar Degas have been acquired for the nation from the estate of the late Lucian Freud through the Acceptance in lieu scheme.

The scheme, administered by Arts Council England's Acquisitions, exports, loans and collections unit, allows those who have a bill for inheritance tax to offset part of those taxes by donating important cultural, scientific or historic objects to the nation.

Works allocated to the National Gallery and the Courtauld Gallery

The Corot painting L'Italienne ou La Femme a la Manche Jaune has been permanently allocated to the National Gallery, with the three bronze sculptures temporarily allocated to the Courtauld Gallery.

L'Italienne dates from the last years of Corot's life, and was painted in his studio in Paris. The painting depicts a distinctive looking woman, turning away and gazing into the distance.

The three Degas sculptures are: Horse Galloping on Right Foot; La Masseuse (The Masseuse); and Portrait of a Woman: Head Resting on One Hand (Portrait de femme, la tête appuyée contre la main gauche).

The three sculptures accepted in lieu from the Freud estate were cast from wax models that Degas prepared for his own private pleasure. Only one sculpture was ever exhibited in Degas' lifetime.

Insight into the artistic tastes of Lucian Freud

The four works give a fascinating glimpse into the artistic tastes of Lucian Freud. All are reflective of Freud's lifelong interest in the female figure and animals, two themes that can be seen in his own artistic output.

Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said:

'The Acceptance in Lieu scheme is a great success story for this country's cultural heritage and for the audiences who enjoy it. The scheme has seen thousands of important pieces of art made available for public display, attracting audiences from near and far, and inspiring budding artists - just as Lucian Freud clearly enjoyed and may have been inspired by these wonderful pieces by Degas and Corot.'

The Corot painting will remain on public display in the National Gallery, and the three Degas sculptures will be on display at the Courtauld Gallery until a decision has been taken on where the sculptures will be permanently placed.

Acceptance in Lieu

The Acceptance in Lieu scheme is administered by Arts Council England's Acquisitions, exports, loans and collections unit. The unit awards accreditation and designation to museums and collections, administers Government Indemnity, which provides a no-cost alternative to insurance for loans on public exhibition and recommends which vital works of art and items of cultural significance should remain in the country and advises on the acceptance and allocation of cultural objects in lieu of inheritance tax.