Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo reunited in Cambridge

The Fitzwilliam acquires the missing half of its 'A rider on a rearing horse'

Part of a Leonardo drawing which may have been cut in half by Sir Peter Lely is to be acquired by the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, where it will be reunited with its other half. “A rider on a rearing horse”, from the estate of Captain Norman Colville, has been offered to the museum for £1.5 million in a private treaty sale. Last month the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) awarded £1 million and £200,000 has been pledged by the National Art Collections Fund (NACF). The Fitzwilliam has already raised a further £187,000, leaving £113,000 to be found. Another major new acquisition is Zoffany’s “Henry Knight of Tythegston with his three children”, which has been bought by the National Museums & Galleries of Wales in Cardiff with £338,700 from the HLF and £86,970 from the NACF. It was purchased (through Agnew’s) at Sotheby’s on 8 June for £1,101,500. Painted in 1770, the Zoffany had remained at Tythegston Court in Glamorgan until last month Sotheby’s sale. An unusual purchase has been made by the Wallace Collection in London, which under the terms of Lady Wallace’s bequest is required to ensure that her works are “unmixed with other objects of art.” It is the first acquisition for display since the collection was bequeathed to the nation in 1897. The trustees have bought a bust of one of their founders, the Second Marquess of Hertford, sculpted by Sir Francis Chantrey in 1825. It was purchased at auction in France on 2 June for FFr60,000 (£7,100), at the Sotheby’s/Poulain Le Fur sale at the Château de Groussay (£4,000 was provided by the NACF). The bust will form part of the inaugural exhibition on the history of the collection, which opens in June 2000 in the newly-constructed basement rooms. Since this underground area is separate from the original galleries, the Wallace trustees felt that the acquisition of a bust of one of their founders would not breach the family’s wishes.

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 94 July 1999