One of the last great Turner masterpieces remaining in private hands set a world auction record for the artist tonight, Sotheby’s said.
Rome, From Mount Aventine, sold for £30.3m including buyer’s premium, easily beating its estimate of £15-20m.
The result also represents the highest price for any pre-20th century British artist ever sold at auction, a spokeswoman said.
Four buyers competed for the work, driving the price ever higher, before it was bought by one of them on the phone to the central London saleroom.
The auction coincided with a wider moment of interest in JMW Turner, with a groundbreaking exhibition at Tate Britain and Mike Leigh’s film Mr Turner starring Timothy Spall.