London: Art experts believe they have tracked down a long-lost Joseph Turner painting, potentially worth a staggering 20 million pounds, after an artist stumbled across it in Oxfordshire.
Artist Christian Furr bought the painting, possibly first attempt by the celebrated artist, a few weeks ago from a private collection.
It is believed the piece is Turner's first attempt of a work called 'St Benedetto Looking Towards Fusina', a known version of which hangs in Tate Liverpool with an estimated value of more than 50 million pounds, the 'Daily Mail' reported.
Experts at the London auction house are carrying out a range of tests, including microscope readings and close scrutiny by authorities on the Romantic painter.
Furr believes the work in question may not have been recorded in the discoveries of Turner paintings because most were donated to the country after his death.
It is also possible the celebrated artist may have given this painting away and that it has been privately owned for the 180 years since Turner died.
After discovering the potential treasured painting, Furr enlisted the help of art expert John Houston, to find out more about it.
They believe the painting could be genuine because it is signed on the rear of the frame by a 'Miss Matthews', who could be related to the artist.
It is a period piece with a period frame and displays similar characteristics to the one in the Tate Liverpool, such as cracking formed by the aging of paints.
"While Turner rarely painted two of the same paintings we believe that on this occasion he would have made an exception  due to it being so highly championed by Victorian art critic John Ruskin," John said.
"It is interesting also that 'Miss Matthews' is signed on the back of the painting along with a number that appears to be a Bonhams number fitting the period," he said.
"We believe this could have an enormous impact both nationally and internationally," said John.
Famous for his oil paintings, the artists who was born in Covent garden, London in 1775, is also one of the greatest masters of British watercolour landscape painting.
Turner is commonly known as 'the painter of light' for his radiant pieces. He died in 1851.


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