Towneley Hall artwork heading to Japan

Robert Drake, from Towneley Hall, holding JMW Turners watercolour painting of Towneley Hall.
Robert Drake, from Towneley Hall, holding JMW Turners watercolour painting of Towneley Hall.

Two of Towneley Hall’s most treasured artworks have gone on tour to the Far East.


A watercolour painting of Towneley Hall, together with Temple of Minerva, Cape Colonna, both by J.M.W. Turner, have travelled to Japan, where they will be part of a tour that is set to visit four locations around the country.

Part of the “Turner and the Poetics of Landscape” exhibition, the pieces will return to Burnley in autumn next year, having been seen at key centres in Japan, bringing the work of one of the greatest British romantic artists to large new audiences.

“We’re thrilled that two magnificent pieces from the Towneley Hall collection will be featured in such a high profile international exhibition,” said Cllr John Harbour, Burnley Council’s executive member for housing and environment.

“While they are on tour, there are a number of other masterpieces currently on display at Towneley Hall for visitors to enjoy, including a new photography exhibition.”

Turner’s work explores the variety of his engagement with landscape, ranging from early explorations of topography to his late evocations of landscapes he admired during his extensive travels.

As well as the pieces from Towneley Hall, the exhibition in Japan will also feature an extensive loan from the National Galleries of Scotland, along with key works from Japanese collections.

“Views of country houses are a significant strand of Turner’s early output and this impressive view of Towneley Hall is a great complement to other country house views in the exhibition,” said the exhibition organisers from the National Galleries of Scotland.

Painted in 1830 and depicting the ruins of an ancient Greek temple, the Temple of Minerva, Cape Colonna painting will help explore Turner’s vignette illustrations and his ability to evoke landscapes of extraordinary scale and grandeur within the smallest compass.

Turner’s Towneley Hall, painted in 1799, shows the historic house from the south-east, encircled by venerable trees and serene parkland, the epitome of rural tranquility and prosperity.

For more information about Towneley Hall and its upcoming exhibitions and events, please visit www.towneley.org.uk