National Gallery Masterpiece To Appear On £20 Note

By Londonist Staff Last edited 33 months ago
National Gallery Masterpiece To Appear On £20 Note

J.M.W Turner's hazy masterpiece, The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her last berth to be broken up (1838), will feature on the Bank of England's new £20 bank note.

The none-too-catchy-titled painting depicts HMS Temeraire, a veteran of the Battle of Trafalgar and saviour of Nelson's flagship HMS Victory, being towed to its final resting place in Rotherhithe by a steam tug.

Turner was clearly very proud of the work, describing it as his 'darling', and refusing to sell it in his lifetime.

Joe Public likes it too; in 2005 it was declared 'Greatest Painting in Britain' in a national poll conducted by the Today programme.

The new £20 note — which goes into circulation in 2020 — will also feature a self-portrait of Turner (which hangs in Tate Britain), his signature and the quote "Light is therefore colour."

Last Updated 22 April 2016