Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Commentry

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Commentry

Article excerpt

Byline: BRIAN SEWELL

IN ALL but one argument Sir Nicholas Serota was absolutely right. I too deplore the niggardly representation of all German art in British galleries, and vast areas of later 19th and 20th century painting in Italy and Spain are not to be found in any national collection here. These can now only be bought abroad or sent from abroad to the major salerooms here.

For the past century our attitude has been that if it is French we ought to have it - and even then only if it is by a name we know - and if it is not, then it is of no interest. If these lacks are ever to be remedied, then we must be prepared to spend our money in the art markets of Germany, Spain, Italy and New York, as well as here.

We have for far too long been blinkered by the perceived need to save our treasures from a foreign foe. With works by Turner and Constable we behave as though to let these leave our shores is to sell them into slavery and prostitution, but Turners and Constables are as much the heritage of North America and our failure to sell them to European galleries means that these hang forgeries and imitations that perpetuate the European notion that British art is insular and second-rate. …

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