LONDON, ENGLAND.-Culture Minister, David Lammy, has placed a temporary export bar on a painting by Pietro di Francesco degli Orioli, Adoration of the Shepherds (also known as the Nativity). This will provide a last chance to raise the money to keep this painting – a superb demonstration of the inventive powers, profound spiritual empathy and technical virtuosity of Pietro Orioli (1458-1496) – in the United Kingdom.
The Minister's ruling follows a recommendation by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art that the export decision be deferred on the grounds that the painting is of outstanding significance for the study of Italian art.
Pietro Orioli was the pre-eminent painter of his generation in Siena at the end of the fifteenth century. His work, long neglected, has been rediscovered within the last 25 years. The Adoration of the Shepherds is a beautiful example of the highly expressive, richly inventive, deliberately non-realistic style favoured by Sienese painters of the period. Its energetic drawing, passages of exquisite detail contrasted with highly expressive use of paint in other areas, and compositional unity all argue for its importance. There are parallels between Orioli's work and the non-realist style of the Florentine Sandro Botticelli and the painting provides scope for further study of the influence of Sienese artists in Florence.
The decision on the export licence application for the Adoration of the Shepherds by Pietro di Francesco degli Orioli will be deferred for a period ending on 15 November inclusive. This period may be extended until 15 January inclusive if a serious intention to raise funds with a view to making an offer to purchase the painting at the recommended price of £580,000 (excluding VAT) is expressed.
Anyone interested in making an offer to purchase the painting should contact the owner's agent through:
The Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art
Museums, Libraries and Archives Council
83 Victoria Street