UK buyer rings up £200,000 for Turner view

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A TURNER watercolour depicting the scene of the River Lune from the churchyard of St Mary’s Church in Kirkby Lonsdale has sold for more than £200,000.

The painting – which is thought to have been completed sometime between 1816 and 1820 – was last seen at auction in 1884 before it appeared at the 19th century paintings sale at Bonhams auctioneers in London yesterday.

It was sold to a private buyer from the UK over the telephone.

The view of the River Lune from the churchyard is now known as “Ruskin’s View” after influential critic and artist John Ruskin – a contemporary of Turner – described it as a “priceless possession”.

He wrote: “Whatever moorland hill, and sweet river, and English forest foliage can be seen at their best is gathered there; and chiefly seen from the steep bank which falls to the stream side from the upper part of the town itself. I do not know in all my own country, still less in France or Italy, a place more naturally divine, or a more priceless possession of true “Holy Land”.

The painting was sold for £217,250, including the buyer’s premium.

A spokesman said: “We are very pleased with the overall results of the sale. There is still clearly good demand for the best examples of 19th century painting, with provenance and condition being increasingly important.

Winter landscape with figures by Frederik Marinus Kruseman was sold for £97,250, while Market Day by Théodore Gérard fetched £45,650 and Tin Miners by Harold Harvey reached £40,850.