No deal made in sale of £50m Reynolds artwork to Britain’s National Portrait Gallery

Ownership of Portrait of Omai remains with Irish businessman John Magnier after gallery fails to raise necessary funds

Portrait of Omai by Joshua Reynolds is moved before hanging at Tate Britain: the painting is owned by John Magnier. Picture: PA

The deadline for Britain’s National Portrait Gallery to buy a £50 million portrait from John Magnier, the Irish billionaire, has passed without a deal being struck.

Magnier is the owner of Portrait of Omai, a Joshua Reynolds painting from 1776, and he has for years been locked in a stand-off with the British establishment over the piece of art.

Magnier has tried to get an export licence to bring the painting to Ireland since he ...