Sotheby’s announces a major Turner for this Summer’s Old Masters sale in London. A work from the same year as Richard Feigen’s Rome, from Mount Aventine which was sold for $47m in three years ago:
In July this year, Sotheby’s will offer for sale one of the greatest works by J.M.W. Turner still in private hands. Painted in 1835, Ehrenbreitstein is a late work, dating from a period that is widely considered Turner’s best: other works from this time now hang in the world’s greatest museums, with only a minute number of this importance and quality remaining in private ownership. The subject of enormous critical acclaim when it was first exhibited in 1835, the painting depicts the ruined fortress of Ehrenbreitstein near Coblenz – a place of special significance for Turner. Though he made many drawings and watercolours of German views, this is the most important oil painting of a German subject that Turner ever painted. The picture will be offered at Sotheby’s in London on 5th July with an estimate of £15-25 million (US$18.7-31.2m / €17.3-28.9m).
Alex Bell, Co-Chairman of Sotheby’s International Old Masters Department, added: “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. 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.“