Turner watercolour brought home to Brighton

  • 27 January 2012

A painting of Brighton by JMW Turner, lost from public view for 100 years, has found a home at the city's Royal Pavilion thanks to an Art Fund grant.

JMW Turner, The Chain Pier at Brighton, c 1824 © The Royal Pavilion & Museums, Photograph © Christie's Images Ltd 2012.

JMW Turner, The Chain Pier at Brighton, c 1824

A painting of Brighton by JMW Turner which was lost from public view for 100 years has found a home at the city's Royal Pavilion thanks to an Art Fund grant.

Jenny Lund, Curator of Fine Art at the Royal Pavilion and Museums, said: "The watercolour The Chain Pier at Brighton will be a tremendous asset for the Royal Pavilion and Museums and its fine art collection."

The painting

Painted around 1824-5, The Chain Pier at Brighton is the only picture Turner is known to have painted featuring the city's iconic Royal Pavilion. Depicting Brighton from the sea, the chain pier - then newly constructed - sits on the right of the picture, with the Pavilion featured at the centre of the scene.

Councillor Geoffrey Bowden, Brighton & Hove City Council's cabinet member for Culture, Recreation and Tourism, said: "This painting by one of our most famous artists captures all the characteristics of Brighton in a single, wonderfully detailed view.

"It is regarded as the the defining image of Brighton in the 1800s and we are thrilled local residents and visitors from this country and across the world will now be able to enjoy it, rather than have it disappear again into a private collection."

The acquisition

The Royal Pavilion and Museums Service successfully bid for the watercolour at Christie's in New York. The painting was purchased for $352,500 (£225,000) with help from the Art Fund, the Heritage Lottery fund, and the Royal Pavilion and Museums Foundation.

The Chain Pier at Brighton will go on display at the Royal Pavilion soon after it arrives in the city, and will star in a new exhibition to be held at the palace next year.

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