Two important German paintings have been bought for £3 million by Compton Verney, the art museum in Warwickshire.
Venus and Cupid by Lucas Cranach the Elder was bought for £2.1 million and Maria Lactans: TheVirgin and Child Crowned by Angels in a Window Embrasure by Martin Schongauer for £900,000 at the most recent Sotheby's sale of old master paintings.
Both works will join the German collection at Compton Verney, as part of a continuing purchasing programme for the gallery. This is one of six specialist collections housed at the gallery and contains paintings and sculpture dating from 1450 to 1650.
German art is generally poorly represented in British public collections, but this is the second painting by Cranach to be acquired by Compton Verney after Lot and his Daughters was bought at auction last year.
Venus and Cupid (1525) is the earliest of his intimate small-scale panels of this subject.
The painting by the lesserknown Schongauer, which dates from the 1470s, is derived from ideas found in early Netherlandish painting.
The drapery folds which appear before a shaped window frame are an illusionistic device used in a number of his works.
Compton Verney, which was officially opened by Prince Charles last year, is an 18th century mansion in a Capability Brown park near Kineton which has been restored and adapted by the Peter Moores Trust. It is open until October 30 (Tue-Sat 11am-5pm, Thurs until 8pm; admission £6 with concessions for children and families).
Further information on 01926 645500 , or visit www.comptonverney.org.uk