Turner's Rome, from Mount Avenine could set auction record at Sotheby's

One of the last works by JMW Turner in private hands, Rome, from Mount Avenine, could see a new auction record for the artist when it goes on sale with Sotheby's this December.

The work could well exceed its estimate and set a new record for Turner, with the number of pieces available to buyers dwindling

The masterpiece, one of less than 10 available to the buying public, is considered one of Turner's finest works. Having set a record for his work when it last sold for £6,000 in 1878, it is now valued at £15-20m ($24.4m-32.6m)

The record for Turner's work is held by Modern Rome - Campo Vaccino, which sold for £29.7m ($48.4m) at Sotheby's in 2010.

Both the record-setting work and the present piece hail from the Rosebery collection, having been acquired by the 5th Earl of Rosebery, Archibald Primrose, later prime minister of the UK.

Turner spent 20 years of his career painting Rome, with the view from Mount Avenine considered one of the finest of the series.

"This painting, which is nearly 200 years old, looks today as if it has come straight from the easel of the artist; never relined and never subject to restoration, the picture retains the freshness of the moment it was painted: the hairs from Turner's brush, the drips of liquid paint which have run down the edge of the canvas, and every scrape of his palette knife have been preserved in incredible detail," commented Sotheby's international head of old master paintings, Alex Bell.

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