Commenting on the decision, Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney said: “I am delighted to announce that J.M.W. Turner has been chosen to appear on the next £20 note. Turner is perhaps the single most influential British artist of all time. His work was transformative, bridging the classical and modern worlds. His influence spanned his lifetime and is still apparent today. Turner bequeathed this painting to the nation, an example of his important contribution to British society.”
As shown in the concept image, the design on the reverse of the note will include:
- J.M.W. Turner’s self-portrait, painted c. 1799 and currently on display in the Tate Britain.
- One of Turner’s most eminent paintings The Fighting Temeraire; a tribute to the ship HMS Temeraire which played a distinguished role in Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
- The quote – “Light is therefore colour” from an 1818 lecture by Turner referring to his innovative use of light, shade, colour and tone in his pictures.
- Turner’s signature from his Will, the document with which he bequeathed many of his paintings to the nation.
The full design of the note and its security features will be unveiled closer to it entering circulation.
Courtesy of Antje Bird, James Cadman, and Mark Irwin.