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Turner’s view of Lowther Castle returns home

The North Front, with the River Lowther: mid-day’ by JMW Turner (1775-1851) Photograph courtesy of Anthony Rumsey MBE, Lowther Castle.

[N]ot many people know that Turner, the outstanding English Romantic painter and Royal Academician, came to the Lake District and painted Lowther Castle. The painting: “The North Front, with the River Lowther: mid-day” was recently unveiled on the 24th March 2018, within the castle’s existing exhibition, The Story of Lowther. It will remain on show until 15th July.

The painting was done in 1809 when Joseph Mallord ‘William’ Turner was invited to the Lakes by one of his many patrons, Lord Egremont. Egremont was keen that Turner should paint Cockermouth Castle, his northern residence. While in the Lakes, Turner stayed with another great arts patron, William Lowther, the first Earl of Lonsdale. While Lonsdale was overseeing the construction of his new seat, Lowther Castle, Turner made detailed observations, which resulted among other things, a fascinating sketchbook, now part of the Tate collection.

Turner was a hugely prolific artist and painted around 19,000 watercolours, oils and drawings. In his day, he was controversial but today Turner is seen as the founding father of the Impressionist movement.

The painting features alongside some of Lowther Castle’s other important art treasures, including The Preparations for the Dance, by Antoine or Louis Le Nain; William, 1st Earl of Lonsdale by Sir Thomas Lawrence RA and The Ruins of the Basilica of Maxentius by Bartolomeus Breenbergh.

Creative Director of Lowther Castle, Vanessa Lowther said: “We are very proud of the connection between Turner and Lowther Castle and are delighted this wonderful painting is on show once again within the castle walls.”

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