Justice Minister Edward Argar said: “We are committed to reducing reoffending and supporting rehabilitation. The arts can play a huge role in achieving these goals.“I fully support this initiative by the National Gallery to deliver workshops and bring important artwork inside the prison gates for all to see.”The painting was bought by the National Gallery in 2018 and was its first acquisition of a work by a female artist in nearly 30 years.Hannah Rothschild, who in 2015 became the first woman to chair the National Gallery Board of Trustees, said at the time that it was part of the Gallery’s “long-held dream” to increase its collection of paintings by important women artists. The painting on display in HMP SendCredit:The National Gallery The artwork was previously exhibited at a Pocklington GPs surgeryCredit:Charlotte Graham The National Gallery has also donated several books on art subjects, including the Baroque and self portraiture, to help develop the art reference collection of HMP Send Library. A £3.6 million painting has been exhibited in a women’s prison as part of a nationwide tour.A rare self portrait by the celebrated artist of Italian Baroque, Artemisia Gentileschi, went on display at HMP Send, a female prison in Surrey, from Monday 20 May to Wednesday 22 May.The 17th-century painting, titled Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria, was recently acquired by the National Gallery and is the first painting from a national collection to go on display in a prison.HMP Send is the painting’s latest venue in a nationwide tour that has seen it visit a Yorkshire GP surgery, a Newcastle high school and Glasgow Women’s Library.In December last year, the National Gallery announced that the painting would be taken to “unusual and unexpected venues” around the country as a “Christmas present for the nation”. Artemisia’s final visit will be a stop on the E17 Art Trail as part of its Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019 celebrations.Whilst on display in HMP Send, the National Gallery delivered three workshops for up to thirty women prisoners – including learning about the painting and the artist.Director of the National Gallery, Dr Gabriele Finaldi said: “It is unprecedented for the National Gallery to take a great painting into a prison but this tour is turning out to be exceptional in many ways.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.