Acquisition of a Turner Canvas by the Bowes Museum


Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851)
Le Lowther Castle - Evening, 1810
Oil on Canvas - 92 x 122 cm
Barnard Castle, The Bowes Museum
Photo : The Bowes Museum

26/3/13 - Acquisition - Barnard Castle, The Bowes Museum - One castle joins another : the Bowes Museum received a donation (acceptance in lieu) of a Turner canvas representing Lowther Castle shown in a golden aura towards late afternoon, nestled in the background of a hilly landscape. The painter visited it in 1808 while still unfinished, the building having been constructed between 1806 and 1814 by Robert Smirke for William Lowther, Count of Lonsdale. Turner produced sketches of the architecture and surrounding landscape, today residing at the Tate Britain, as well as this painting and a companion piece, currently in a private collection, which were both exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1810. More than the château, Turner emphasized the beauty of the domain, so familiar as to be evoked by Lord Macartney during his trip to China when contemplating nature’s splendor there.
Turner produced several landscapes enlivened in this way with the outline of a château and a composition determined by the treatment of shadows and light. During this same period, he represented for example Linlithgow Palace.

Lowther Castle is located exactly sixty kilometers from the Bowes Museum which holds other works by the artist in its permanent collections, notably two watercolors showing Gibside near Newcastle upon Tyne ; Gibside was the estate of Lord Strathmore, the father of John Bowes who founded the museum.
Finally, Turner is also present in the temporary exhibition currently showing at the museum until 28 April, Rokeby : Poetry & Landscape ; Walter Scott & Turner in Teesdale where there is probably (we did not see it) another work by the artist, acquired three years ago.

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Bénédicte Bonnet Saint-Georges, mardi 2 avril 2013



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