AGO BUYS CAILLEBOTTE MASTERPIECE AT CENTRE OF YEARS-LONG EXPORT BATTLE

$540K from federal Heritage Department is almost half the purchase price

Gustave Caillebotte's 1892 masterpiece Blue Irises, Garden at Petit Gennevilliers, is handled by art installers in an undated photo. The Art Gallery of Ontario has purchased the painting. (Dean Tomlinson/The Canadian Press/AGO)

The Art Gallery of Ontario has acquired a French impressionist painting that had been barred from leaving the country because of its “national importance.”

Gustave Caillebotte’s 1892 masterpiece Blue Irises, Garden at Petit Gennevilliers, depicts a scene from the French artist’s own garden. It will be on display starting Saturday.

It was purchased with the help of a Heritage Department grant of $540,000, which the AGO acknowledges was almost half of the purchase price. The rest came from bequests from the R. Fraser Elliott estate and a bequest from F.W.G. Fitzgerald.

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