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Turner’s ‘lost’ painting of Bamburgh Castle on show

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A rare £3 million painting of Bamburgh Castle by JMW Turner which has not been seen in public for 125 years is to go on display in London.

Curators at Tate Britain tracked down ‘Bamborough Castle’s’ American owners and persuaded them to allow it to be shown.

It was painted by Turner in the 1830s but disappeared after being shown at the Royal Academy in 1889.

For much of that time, the watercolour was owned by the Vanderbilt family, who built a vast fortune from shipping and railways.

Records of its sale by them in 2007 to another wealthy American family for almost £3m alerted Turner experts and an auction house to its whereabouts.

The EY Exhibition: Late Turner – Painting Set Free, which opens on September 10, is the first exhibition devoted to the artist’s extraordinary work between 1835 and his death in 1851 when he produced many of his finest pictures but was also controversial and unjustly misunderstood.

The show also brings together major series of works including a group of unusual square pictures, casting a light on Turner’s innovative techniques.

Martin Cook, managing partner commercial, UK & Ireland at EY, said: “Turner was not only a compulsive artist, who had to draw and paint all the time, but he was also complex, with some of his iconic work considered controversial and radical for his time.”

Sam Smiles, co-curator, said: “We are delighted to be able to bring JMW Turner’s finished square canvases together for the very first time.

“What Turner does in these paintings is unique, exploiting shape and format to a particular end. It was a new departure for the artist, and they show us that he continued to innovate even in his final years.

“The world around Turner was changing and he was changing with it.”

 

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