From the Old Master Drawings Sotheby's sale on January 25.
With exciting, newly discovered or rarely seen drawings from four centuries, and estimates ranging from 3,000 to 300,000 USD, the Old Master Drawings sale contains something for every taste and budget. The British section of the sale is particularly strong this year, including two splendid Swiss views by Turner, two definitive watercolours by William Blake, three fine, characteristic works by Gainsborough, and a major watercolour of an Arthurian subject by Burne-Jones.
This landscape and that of the following lot are remarkable watercolors that are not only full of spontaneity and energy but reveal Turner exploring nature through the media of light and color. As well as being works of great rarity, neither has been exhibited publicly since the late 19th century and they have remained within the same distinguished family collection since May 1871. Their arrival on the market today is therefore a truly exceptional event.
Both sheets date to the first half of the 1840s and see Turner returning to his beloved Switzerland. That country, described by one of Turner’s contemporaries as the ‘noblest of all earthly regions,’ had enchanted him since his first visit in 1802 and it was to continue to act as a powerful magnet once he had reached his sixties.
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