Norfolk-owned masterpiece heading for Paris
A resident masterpiece from the fine art collection at Holkham Hall, near Wells, is being loaned to one of the world's most famous galleries – The Louvre in Paris.
Claude Lorrain's landscape The Origins of Coral is on loan to the iconic exhibition centre in the French capital until July 18.
The landscape from the Coke family's private collection was painted in 1674 by the Italian artist who was described by John Constable as 'the most perfect landscape painter the world ever saw'.
The scene originates from the Greek story of Perseus slaying Medusa, with the blood from the head of the monster flowing into the Red Sea to create the first coral.
After its spell at the Louvre, the painting will be moved to the Teyler Museum in Haarlem, the Netherlands, for display from September 18 to January 8.
Colin Shearer, collections and security manager at Holkham Hall, said: 'Paintings are occasionally loaned to international galleries and museums for major exhibitions at the discretion of Lord Coke and the Trustees of the Holkham Estate.
'We are very fortunate to have such a fine private art collection at Holkham, many of which were acquired or commissioned by Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester, during his Grand Tour of Italy from 1712-18.'
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This is not the first time The Origins of Coral has been loaned from Holkham Hall, having previously been on display at the Royal Academy and The Tate.
And the north Norfolk stately home has recently seen another masterpiece return to its Landscape Room, having been sent to Texas for a major exhibition of works by 17th century Italian Baroque painter Salvator Rosa.