WITH the Ashmolean Museum ’s deadline looming to save a Manet painting, art teacher Vicky Hirsch went online to donate £30 to the fundraising campaign.

And it was her donation – the last before the deadline passed – which helped save the painting for the nation.

As a result, 51-year-old Ms Hirsch, of Alexandra Road, Botley, and her 11-year-old daughter Mara Talbot were asked to unveil the painting yesterday as the Oxford museum announced its future as part of the collection had been secured.

Ms Hirsch and Mara were among dozens of guests celebrating the successful bid to raise £7.83m to save the Impressionist masterpiece Portrait of Mademoiselle Claus from being sold abroad.

Museum director Dr Christopher Brown said the painting was the “most significant purchase” in the history of the Ashmolean.

Ms Hirsh, an art specialist at West Oxford Primary School, said: “We had a call out of the blue to say the painting had been saved for the nation.

“I’m delighted – now everyone will be able to see it instead of it going to a private collection.”

Mara, a pupil at Leckford Place School in North Oxford, added: “I’ve seen the painting in a booklet before but not the real thing.”

An export ban stopping the painting, which has been on long-term loan to the Ashmolean, going abroad ended on Tuesday.

The painting had already been sold to a foreign buyer for £28.35m but the Ashmolean was given the chance to buy it at a fraction of its real cost.

Major donations came from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which contributed £5.9m, and the Art Fund, which gave a grant of £850,000.

The final £1,080,000 was made up of grants and donations from trusts, foundations and private individuals.

These included 1,069 individual contributions, ranging from £1.50 to £10,000.

Dr Brown added: “The public response to the Manet has been overwhelming.

“We have raised this money in about six months which is an extraordinary achievement for a museum outside London.

“This is one of the most important pictures of the 19th century which has been in Britain since its sale following the artist’s death.

“Its acquisition has transformed the Ashmolean collection and has, at a stroke, made Oxford into a leading centre for the study of Impressionist painting.”

Culture Minister and Wantage MP Ed Vaizey added: “I am delighted that the temporary export bar I placed on the painting has resulted in the Ashmolean being able to acquire this fantastic work by one of the greatest painters of the 19th century.”

The museum’s head of development Tess Mc-Cormick said the final amount was raised following a £75,000 donation from Oxford University , a six-figure gift from the United States, and contributions from charitable trusts.