Following an export bar, this outstanding painting, St Luke Drawing the Virgin and Child, was acquired in July 2016 with support from Art Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund and a number of private donors, totalling £2,290,650. The painting is of major importance due to its connection with the artist, deemed one of the leading and most influential Netherlandish painters of his time. Dieric Bouts the Elder is in fact considered, together with Hans Memling, the most important follower of Rogier van der Weyden.
Bouts’ works are rare in general and especially in the UK. In addition, there are no other paintings of this date and origin depicting this important subject in British public collections by Bouts or any other northern European artist of this period.
The Bowes Museum is embarking on an innovative partnership with York Art Gallery and Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, each with their own excellent Old Master collections, to deliver a diverse and exciting activity programme surrounding the painting.