JMW Turner’s Ehrenbreitstein (1835) sold for £18.5m ($23.9m) at Sotheby’s last night.
This is one of just six important Turners still in private hands, so competition was fierce.
Turner was an acclaimed British landscape painter
The canvas, which features a view of the ruined fortress in the city of Coblenz, Germany, led an important Old Masters evening sale.
Turner (1775-1851) painted this view a number of times over the years.
He was a regular traveller in Europe.
Bonhams’ expert in British paintings, Julian Gascoigne, said: “Turner is one of those seminal figures who changed the way we see and think about the world.
“An artist rooted in the aesthetic philosophy and culture of his time, perpetually engaged with the art of both his predecessors and contemporaries, he was at the same time possibly the first ‘modern’ painter; who directly inspired the Impressionism of the nineteenth century, and presaged the Abstract Expressionism of the twentieth.
“These late works in particular, with their bold application of colour, treatment of light and deconstruction of form, revolutionised the way we perceive the painted image.”
Bernardo Bellotto’s Venice, Piazza San Marco Looking East Towards the Basilica made £2.5m ($3.2m).
Bellotto trained under his uncle, the great Venetian view painter Canaletto.
Canaletto’s work is in huge demand, which has in turn boosted the value of Bellotto’s work as buyers get priced out.
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