JMW Turner painting of River Thames could fetch £5 million at auction

Walton Bridges is one of only two oil paintings of London by Turner in private hands.

A JMW Turner painting of the River Thames near to where the artist grew up is expected to fetch up to £5 million at auction.

Walton Bridges is one of only two oil paintings of London by the British artist in private hands.

It was painted in 1806 after the artist moved out of London to a house on the banks of the river near Isleworth.

The work, with its “richly lyrical depiction of soft evening light playing on the water”, depicts the old wooden double span bridge crossing the Thames between Sunbury Lock and Shepperton Lock.

The work has remained in one collection for the last 130 years.

Julian Gascoigne, British paintings’ senior specialist at Sotheby’s, said: “This is a painting that shows Turner’s immeasurable influence on the history of art and how he revolutionised the way we perceive the painted image.

“Walton Bridges admirably captures Turner’s ambitions for landscape painting, blending his depiction of nature with creative imagination.”

Turner was among the first artists, alongside Constable, to sketch directly from nature.

Walton Bridges will go up for auction at Sotheby’s Old Masters Evening sale on July 4, in London, with an estimate of between £3 million and £5 million.

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