JMW Turner art auctions for $338,932 - unseen at auction since 1884

This beautiful art watercolour hasn't been seen at auction since 1884. Just one of many reasons why the rare artwork sold for £217,250 ($338,932) yesterday, January 25, in London.

The piece in question is a depiction of an English landscape beside the River Lune by Joseph Mallord William Turner. He painted it from the churchyard of St Mary's Church in Kirkby Lonsdale. Its features include children playing in the foreground.

Not surprisingly for a JMW Turner, this artwork has drawn many admirers over the years. Among them is the influential critic and artist John Ruskin (1819-1900).

"Whatever moorland hill, and sweet river, and English forest foliage can be seen at their best is gathered there;  and chiefly seen from the steep bank which falls to the stream side from the upper part of the town itself," wrote Ruskin.


English landscape beside the River Lune by Joseph Mallord William Turner
An English landscape by the River Lune by Joseph Mallord William Turner

"I do not know in all my own country, still less in France or Italy, a place more naturally divine, or a more priceless possession of true 'Holy Land'."

The view depicted by JMW Turner in his painting is so renowned that it is today known as Ruskin's View.

The auction, held by Bonhams, drew a final total of £1,871,925.

Said Peter Rees, Head of Sale for the auctioneer's 19th Century Paintings department: "We are very pleased with the overall results of the sale.

"There is still clearly good demand for the best examples of 19th Century Painting, with provenance and condition being increasingly important. We were delighted to sell the Turner to a private collector."

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