This phrase occurs in a press statement from the Dept of Culture, Ministry and Sport about a temporary export ban on Poussin’s Young Moses Treading on Pharaoh's Crown which is owned by the Duke of Bedford.
“The painting by Nicolas Poussin depicting the moment the infant Moses trampled Pharaoh’s crown, will be exported overseas unless a matching offer of £14,000,000 is made. The Culture Minister issued the temporary export bar in the hope that a UK buyer can be found in the time allowed.
Ed Vaizey took the decision following a recommendation by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA), administered by Arts Council England. The RCEWA made its recommendation on the grounds that the painting is of outstanding aesthetic importance and significance for the study of Poussin’s art.
Of the 30 or so paintings by Poussin in UK galleries and museums, none are quite so insistently severe in either their colouring or composition as this piece.
The decision on the export licence application for the painting will be deferred until 22 April 2014, although this may be extended until 22 October if a serious intention to raise funds to purchase the painting at the recommended price is made.”
Maybe a tall order in today’s financial climate- but I hope a museum is able to save it for the nation. It would look good hung next to Poussin’s Finding of Moses in the NG London. Or it could go in the Ashmoleon next to the Exposition of Moses, or nestle in amongst the Dulwich Poussins. I hope it doesn’t leave the country,but if did I would favour it hanging next to its variant in the Louvre. Both compositions look like they’ve been hewn out of rock with that block-like rectangular composition, though the French version is more opened out. They both are of extreme importance to Poussin’s development in the late 1640s. I’m really pleased with the wording of that press release, though depressed that the loss of yet another Poussin may be on the cards. Now we can only wait.