A culturally and historically significant portrait of freed slave, Ayuba Suleiman Diallo, goes on display today at the National Portrait Gallery, following a temporary export bar and international negotiations over its future.
The Gallery raised £100,000 from private donors and won support from Heritage Lottery Fund and the Art Fund to acquire William Hoare of Bath’s portrait but were beaten at auction by the Qatar Museum Authority in 2009.
A temporary export bar prevented the portrait being whisked abroad and now a 5 year cooperative agreement has been reached to lend the painting to the NPG. The QMA will support a programme of conservation and research on the work here in London, and it will tour the UK and visit Doha in 2013.
The Gallery will now follow up with those who donated to the appeal to return funds.
Ayuba Suleiman Diallo arrived in London in 1733 where he mixed with high and intellectual society, was introduced at Court and was bought out of slavery by public subscription. Find out more.
Image Ayuba Suleiman Diallo, also known as Job ben Solomon by William Hoare of Bath, 1733 © Christie’s Images Limited.
The National Portrait Gallery is open daily 10am-6pm at St Martin’s Place, WC2H 0HE.