x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 22 October 2017

Famed British painter's 1835 masterpiece to go under the hammer

J.M.W Turner's Ehrenbreitstein will be offered alongside another 10 of his works

Members of staff hold the painting 'Ehrenbreitstein' by artist J.M.W. Turner at Sotheby's auction house in London, Britain June 30, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
Members of staff hold the painting 'Ehrenbreitstein' by artist J.M.W. Turner at Sotheby's auction house in London, Britain June 30, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

One of the final major paintings by renowned British artist J.M.W Turner will go under the hammer at an Sotheby's auction on July 5.

The art work - Ehrenbreitstein - which has been on public display since July 1, was painted in 1835 at a time when Turner was at his artistic best.

It depicts the ruined German fortress of Ehrenbreitstein near Koblenz – an area that had special significance for the artist.

The famed artwork has an estimated value of between £15-25 million (Dh71m-119m) and will be offered alongside another 10 works of art from the painter.

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“This painting was one of five that Turner exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1835; the other four of which are now in some of the most distinguished institutions in the world,” says Alex Bell, Co-Chairman of Sotheby’s International Old Masters Department.

“Of those five paintings, it was Ehrenbreitstein that caught the imagination of public and critics alike – and it’s easy to see why. "Its extraordinary range and depth of colour and typically inspired and imaginative use of light, would in any case mark this painting out as a masterpiece, but its true greatness lies in the way Turner applies his painterly genius to transform the ruins of the famous fortress into a poetic and symbolic image as resonant then as it is today.”

Sotherby's has also created a series of videos that explore a number of highlights in the auction through CGI animation. In one video, people can be taken on a journey through Turner's Ehrenbreitstein as English actor Steven Berkoff recites lines from Lord Byron’s epic poem, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage.

Often referred to as the ‘painter of light’, Turner is widely regarded as Britain’s foremost artist, whose unprecedented style not only had a profound and lasting impact on British art, but was also a vital precursor to both the Impressionist and the much later Abstract Expressionist movements.

In fact, earlier this year, Turner was confirmed as the new face for the British £20 note, having been voted the country’s most important artist from among the 500 or so names suggested by the British public.

Ehrenbreitstein was originally painted for publisher John Pry and was meant to be in watercolour but the artist felt it would be better if completed in oil. The piece took 11 years to complete.

For more info, go to www.sothebys.com