Friday, April 07, 2006

Wow, is that a Turner?

When we were in college, way back in the '80's, it was a long standing joke if someone had painted something that looked like total crap, we would always ask, "Wow is that a Turner?"

NEW YORK - A Venice canal scene by J.M.W. Turner sold for $35.8 million at Christie's on Thursday, setting an auction record for a work by a British artist.

The painting, "Giudecca, La Donna della Salute and San Giorgio," from 1841, was bought by a private collector bidding over the telephone.

It was sold by the St. Francis of Assisi Foundation, a nonprofit institution in New York that receives donations to support the missionary effort of the Capuchin order of friars. A private collector had bought the painting in 1992 and donated it to the foundation, which did not display it to the public.

The previous record for any British painting sold at auction was $21 million for John Constable's "The Lock" in 1990.