Sotheby’s held a very strong London Old Master sale tonight led by Turner’s Rome, from Mount Aventine:
one of the last great Turner masterpieces remaining in private hands set a world auction record for the artist*, selling fora staggering £30.3m/$47.4m/€38.6m (est. £15-20m / $24.1-32.1m / €19-25.3m). Four bidders competed for the work tonight, driving the work high above its pre-sale estimate. Painted in 1835 and exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1836, when Turner was 61 years old, Rome, from Mount Aventine is one of the artist’s supreme achievements and arguably the most important view of the Italian city ever painted. The large-scale oil painting is further distinguished by its exceptional state of preservation, as well as a prestigious and unbroken provenance. Until this evening’s sale, the work had changed hands only once in 1878, when it was acquired by the 5th Earl of Rosebery, later Prime Minister of Great Britain. The painting had since remained undisturbed in the Rosebery collection.