The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, May 20, 2018

Turner's Masterpiece Modern Rome - Campo Vaccino to Be Offered For Sale
J.M.W. Turner RA, "Modern Rome: Campo Vaccino". Oil on canvas, estimate: £12-18 million, (90.2 by 122 cm), 35.5 by 48 inches. Photo: Sotheby's.

LONDON.- Sotheby’s announced that in its Evening Sale of Old Master and Early British Paintings in London on Wednesday, 7 July 2010, it will present for sale Joseph Mallord William Turner RA’s great masterpiece Modern Rome – Campo Vaccino, with an estimate of £12-18 million. Painted in 1839, this breathtaking painting shows the artist at the height of his technical powers and is undoubtedly among the most important of Turner’s works ever to come to auction. The painting is further distinguished by its immaculate condition and impeccable provenance, having only appeared on the open market once in the 171 years since it was painted. The picture was bought by the 5th Earl of Rosebery, and his wife Hannah Rothschild, in 1878 and has remained in his family collection ever since. This uninterrupted provenance ranks this work as perhaps the most important of only five comparable major Turner oil paintings remaining in private hands today. The auction of this painting presents an astonishingly rare opportunity. Arguably Turner’s finest depiction of an Italian city, this sun-filled panorama represents the culmination of the artist’s fascination with Rome, a fascination which lasted a period of more than 20 years.

Sotheby’s has the most successful track record of selling works by Turner. Commenting on the forthcoming sale of Modern Rome – Campo Vaccino, David Moore-Gwyn, Deputy Chairman, UK and Senior Specialist in Early British Paintings at Sotheby’s, states: “This is Turner at his absolute best. One of the most evocative pictures of Rome ever painted, this picture has everything: a colourful, relaxed beauty, exquisite detail, flawless condition and superlative provenance and exhibition history. One of the last great Turner masterpieces to have remained in private hands, its sale at auction represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for collectors and one of the landmark moments of my 35-year career at Sotheby’s.”

Turner was fascinated by Italy - like many of his contemporaries and predecessors – and it was a country which provided him with a rich source of subject matter, particularly given his interest in the rise and fall of civilizations. Modern Rome – Campo Vaccino is his final painting of Rome and the monumental work, which measures 90.2 by 122cm (35.5 by 48 in), brings together all of the studies that he made during his two visits to the Italian capital. One of Turner’s most compelling landscapes, when he first exhibited it at the Royal Academy Turner chose to accompany the painting with lines from Byron’s Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage: “The moon is up and yet it is not night,/ the sun as yet divides the day with her.” However, Turner has done much more than merely capture the city lying in a moment between day and night; he has fused the city’s modern life with its historic past. Through meticulous attention to detail and a brilliant and bold use of colour he has recreated a sparkling city bathed in atmospheric light. The painting evokes the very essence and qualities of an Eternal City.

For the painting, Turner has taken as his viewpoint the top of Capitoline Hill and from here he depicts a scene that unfolds as the spectator’s eye first engages with the Forum, flanked by the Arch of Septimus Severus, the Temple of Saturn and the Coliseum. Beyond the distinctive shapes of those familiar buildings, the great arches of Diocletian’s Baths come in to focus on the left of the view and the distant landscape around the city captures the silhouette of St John Lateran clearly visible on the skyline. The dreamlike vista combines and presents us with the glories of the past; classical antiquity (with the remains of ancient Rome), the Rome of the Renaissance and Baroque and the seat of the Papacy while daily contemporary 19th-century life in the city - with its goatherds, religious processions and people simply attending to their business – takes place in the foreground.

Modern Rome – Campo Vaccino’s state of preservation is truly exceptional; never relined and never subject to repair or restoration, the picture retains the freshness of the moment it was painted to a remarkable degree. David Moore-Gwyn states: “The condition of this painting is one of its most amazing attributes. It is outstanding and helps to highlight the genius of Turner by revealing the various techniques that he employed: the cross hatching of dry paint, the thinning out of the paintwork, the working with the bristles of his brush, the array of paint textures and the subtle nuances of colour he uses. These remarkable workings are clearly evident to the eye.”

The painting’s first owner was the Scottish landowner and collector Hugh Munro of Novar, Turner’s close friend and supportive patron during the 1830’s, who acquired the work directly from the artist’s Royal Academy exhibition of 1839. Novar was one of the greatest collectors of Turner’s work and the only one of his patrons to travel with him to Italy. Modern Rome remained in Novar’s collection for almost 50 years until sold in 1878 by his executors. The Earl of Rosebery (1847-1929) and his new wife Hannah Rothschild acquired the painting at this auction, while on their honeymoon, for the staggering sum of 4,450 gns. The picture has since descended through the family of the 5th Earl of Rosebery.

The picture’s exemplary provenance is further enhanced by its exhibition history and inclusion in a vast body of literature on the artist. The painting has featured in no fewer than three exhibitions at the Royal Academy and has also been on public exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, The Tate and more recently in the highly acclaimed JMW Turner show at the National Gallery of Art in Washington. It has also been on loan to the National Gallery of Scotland since 1978, and was recently part of their Turner and Italy exhibition in 2009, which travelled to Ferrara and Budapest.

Sotheby's | Old Master and Early British Paintings | J.M.W.Turner |

Today's News

March 27, 2010

Singer/Songwriter Sam Leach Wins Both the Archibald and the Wynne Prizes

Never Before Seen Work by Photographer Catherine Opie at Gladstone Gallery

Turner's Masterpiece Modern Rome - Campo Vaccino to Be Offered For Sale

Aztec and Roman Empires Confronted at the Getty Villa

New Works by Sarah Morris on View at Gallery Meyer Kainer

Technicolor Donates Archive to George Eastman House

Playboy Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Iconic Bunny with Exhibition

Artexpo New York Showcases Exciting, Emerging and Established Artists

New York's Fenimore Museum Unveils Sargent's Women

Kimbell Art Museum Mourns the Death of Foermer Director Edmund Pillsbury

Denmark's Famed Little Mermaid Begins Trip to the World Expo

Marty Lederhandler, Associated Press Photographer for 66 Years, Dies

American Academy of Arts and Letters Announces 2010 Award Winners

JFK Library to Show Salinger Letter to Hemingway

New Films from Germany at MoMA's Survey of German Cinema

Rihanna Picture Featured in Exhibition by Young Talent at the Walker Art Gallery

Expanded Pixar Exhibition to Open at Transformed Oakland Museum of California

Glenn W. Ekey Named Director of Development for Miami Art Museum

Cab Drivers Know their Monet from their Mascherano

Pop-Up Museum Offers Flash of English Eccentricity

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Boy and an amateur archaeologist unearth legendary Danish king's trove in Germany

2.- Exhibition at The Met illustrates what visitors encountered at The palace of Versailles

3.- Philadelphia Museum of Art opens "Modern Times: American Art 1910-1950"

4.- Exhibition at Michael Hoppen Gallery presents a cross-section of works from Thomas Mailaender's career

5.- New York's Chelsea Hotel celebrity door auction raises $400,000

6.- Stevie Ray Vaughan's first guitar drives Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Auction to nearly $2.9 million

7.- Lichtenstein's Nude with Blue Hair tops $2.4 million sale of Modern & Contemporary Prints & Multiples

8.- $6.7 million Fancy Intense Blue Diamond sets auction record at Sotheby's New York

9.- Mexico court blocks sales of controversial Frida Kahlo Barbie doll

10.- Dutch museums to conduct new research on the paintings of Pieter de Hooch

Related Stories

Important Judaica and Israeli & international art bring a combined $7.9 million at Sotheby's New York

Sotheby's New York to offer The Andy Williams Collection of Navajo blankets in May 2012

Buhl Collection brings $12.3M - Highest ever total for a private collection of photos sold at auction

'Casablanca' piano sells in NY for more than $600K

No bidder found for letters by 'Peanuts' creator

Sotheby's names President and CEO William F. Ruprecht as Chairman of the Board of Directors

Sotheby's announces first ever selling exhibition of contemporary art from central Asia and the Caucasus

Mick Jagger love letters written to American singer Marsha Hunt sold at London auction

House of Illustration raises 68,750 in "What are they like?" Celebrity Auction at Sotheby's London

Swiss contemporary art generates enthusiasm among collectors at Sotheby's

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful