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The estate of British painter Lucian Freud has bequeathed works by Corot and Degas to the nation, under the government’s acceptance in lieu scheme.

The artist, who died in 2011, specified in his will that the artworks should be donated in place of inheritance tax.

Freud bought the Corot portrait at an auction in 2001 and it had hung on the top floor of his London home.

The Corot will go to the National Gallery while three Degas sculptures will be shown at The Courtauld Gallery.

Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot was a leading mid-19th Century French painter who was a particular influence on the Impressionists.

His portraits were never exhibited by the artist during his lifetime.

The painting, L’ Italienne ou La Femme á la Manche Jaune (The Italian Woman, or Woman with Yellow Sleeve) has not been seen in public for more than 60 years and dates from the last years of Corot’s life.

Prior to Freud’s purchase of the painting in 2001, it was once owned by Hollywood star Edward G Robinson.

The bronze sculptures, Horse Galloping on Right Foot; La Masseuse (The Masseuse); and Portrait of a Woman: Head Resting on One Hand were cast from wax models by Degas – considered one of the greatest artists of the late 19th Century.

Chris Sabian is a portrait artist with http://www.kutefineart.com and owner of http://www.paragonprints.co.uk