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Turner painting of Inverness on show in Amsterdam

Susan Pianta-Scott, Treasurer of the Art Fund Highland Branch, with Turner's watercolour of Ness Bridge
Susan Pianta-Scott, Treasurer of the Art Fund Highland Branch, with Turner's watercolour of Ness Bridge

A painting of Ness Bridge in Inverness by JMW Turner has been loaned to an Amsterdam gallery as part of a major retrospective on the renowned artist.

The watercolour was painted in 1833, two years after Turner made a series of sketches during a tour of Scotland.

The artwork was purchased for the Highlands in 1992, with help of the Art Fund, and is now cared for by High Life Highland.

It is regularly exhibited at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery but for the next few weeks, it will be on show at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

Turner made sketches for the painting during a tour of Scotland in 1831.

He had been commissioned to gather material to illustrate Walter Scott’s works of the period and this view of the Highland capital was used as the foundation for an engraving used as the frontispiece to Scott’s Tales of a Grandfather, published in 1836.

Susan Pianta-Scott, treasurer of the Art Fund Highland branch: “Knowing that Turner visited throughout the area at places such as Cromarty, the Dornoch Firth and Glen Glass, as well as Inverness, brings this painting to life for all who know and love the Highlands.”

The exhibition, Danger and Beauty: William Turner and the Tradition of the Sublime, will run at the two Dutch art museums Museum de Fundatie and Rijksmuseum Twenthe until January 3.

Ian Murray, chief executive of High Life Highland, said: “I am very proud that Turners Ness Bridge and riverside scene is to be included in the exhibition at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

“It is pleasing to see the quality exhibited by Inverness Museum and Art Gallery being recognised on an international stage and I am sure it will be enjoyed by everyone attending the exhibition.”

The Amsterdam show reveals Turner as a vital link in world art history. The curators combine his work, both paintings and watercolours, with works by great predecessors including Rembrandt, Van de Velde and Lorrain.

The exhibition will also include works by later artists who were influenced by Turner, or whose work show an affinity with his, including American artist Mark Rothko.

Turner’s painting of the River Ness, a Highland Collection highlight will be shown alongside works from the Tate National’s Turner Bequest.

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