This painting cost £10 million, which was recently raised by 10,000 donations that ranged £1 to £20,000. Until now, it was hidden away in private hands, a half-ignored trophy for the rich, for 400 years. £10 million was the bounty to rescue it from the manor house, as it were. I wonder what the owner did with the cash that was raised from those of far more modest means.
It’s Van Dyck’s self-portrait, from the late 1630s. Now the world’s most expensive selfie is one of its oldest.
You can find it at the National Portrait Gallery in London once it completes its three-year victory lap of Britain’s public galleries.