Art Fund and National Trust unite to save "exceptional" Pieter Brueghel masterpiece

By Richard Moss | 01 October 2010
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a large painting depicting Christ carrying the cross up the hill to Calvary
© National Trust
The National Trust and The Art Fund are combining to try and save an Old Master painting by Pieter Breughel the Younger which has hung in Nostell Priory in Yorkshire for over 200 years.

The Procession to Calvary is the star attraction at the National Trust-run 18th century stately home, where it is part of a collection including paintings by Hogarth and Kauffmann.

However, the Priory's owner, Lord St Oswald, has decided to sell the painting, so the Art Fund and the National Trust are attempting to raise the £2.7 million needed to save the iconic painting for the nation and keep it on display at Nostell.

To kickstart the campaign The Art Fund has contributed £500,000 to the appeal to save the painting, which is going on temporary display to the public at London's National Gallery from October 5 - November 9, and then at the York Art Gallery from November 18 until Christmas.

a detail of a painting depicting Christ carrying the cross amidst a crowd of Flemish peasantry and soldiers
© National Trust
Visitors to the two galleries will see one of Brueghel the Younger's finest works. Completed in 1602, it depicts Christ carrying the cross on the way to his crucifixion surrounded by more than 200 figures. The vibrant Flemish narrative includes a host of carefully-observed individual portraits including religious figures, peasants, children, animals, gentry and soldiers.

It is hoped that the remaining £2.2 million can be raised by Christmas to secure the remarkable painting’s future.

"It is exceptional to find a painting by Pieter Brueghel the Younger in a country house and especially one of such quality," says Fiona Reynolds, Director-General of the National Trust.

"To see it at Nostell – where it has resided for more than two centuries – is a very special experience. We hope that the public will join us and the Art Fund to raise the money we need to ensure that the Brueghel stays at Nostell forever."

To discover more about The Procession to Calvary or to make a donation to the appeal, visit or telephone 0844 415 4004.
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