The Evening Standard Art Critic, who died in 2015, has bequeathed the National Gallery a painting from his private collection.
The Maternal Affection by Louis-Jean-Francois Lagrenee is now on display at the National Gallery in room 33 hanging alongside other French 18th-century paintings by artists such as Boucher, Vigée Le Brun, Boilly, Nattier, Detroy, and Vernet.
This small oil on copper work by the French artist, is one of eleven paintings by Lagrenée in Great Britain including seven at Stourhead (National Trust) and four at the Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle – therefore Maternal Affection is the only one by the artist on public display in a national collection.
The Evening Standard art critic Brian Sewell would often talk about his visits to the National Gallery, once saying in an interview in The Daily Telegraph in June 2012: “As a child, there was not a major museum or art gallery in London I didn’t know, and the National Gallery was my favourite.”
National Gallery Director, Dr Gabriele Finaldi said “Brian Sewell had a profound love for the National Gallery as well as a connoisseur’s passion for lesser known masters, so it is especially pleasing that Lagrenée’s beautiful and refined Maternal Affection which he owned has come to the Gallery as a gift from his estate.”