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Last Updated: Friday, 8 December 2006, 16:08 GMT
Turner painting heading for city

A painting of Plymouth by one of England's most celebrated artists has been bought at auction for 80,000 by the city's museum and art gallery.

"Plymouth, from Mount Edgcumbe" by JMW Turner, is a watercolour dating from 1814, showing a view to the dockyard.

Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery bought the painting with help from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Art Fund.

Museum collection manager Jonathan Wilson says the work records an "important period" of city history.

Napoleonic Wars

How the painting was paid for
Total cost (with taxes and gallery commission): 96,000
From Heritage Lottery Fund: 43,495
From The Art Fund: 30,112
From museum funds: 22,393

Turner is known to have travelled to the South West three times during his career, in 1811, 1813 and 1814.

During his visits he made a number of sketches which he continued to use late into his career.

Describing the painting, Mr Wilson said "it features subtle browns, greens and blues to show a social gathering at Mount Edgcumbe just as the sun is setting".

"As well as demonstrating Turner's artistic skills it also helps to record an important period of Plymouth's history, during the Napoleonic Wars," he said.

The painting should be delivered to the museum later this month when it will be prepared by conservation staff.

It will be put on display early next year when it will form the centrepiece of a number of activities at the museum.

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