Apainting of Chepstow Castle by one of Britain’s most famous artistswill go on show in the town after it was bought at auction this week.

Thewatercolour by JMW Turner was painted in 1794 when the artist wasjust 19-years-old.

MonLifeHeritage – which is part of Monmouthshire County Council –acquired the painting for £75,000 at the auction at Cheffins inCambridge on Wednesday (March 22).

The sale price was substantially more than the estimate of between£20,000 and £30,000.

The31cm by 41.7cm (12in by 16in) is signed and dated “Turner, 1794”and was previously in private hands in London.

The painting was bought thanks to funding from the Victoria and AlbertMuseum, the Beecroft Bequest, Brecknock Arts Trust and MonLife museums’ acquisitions fund and will go on show at Chepstow Museum in the summer.

The painting is one of only two known views of the castle by arguably the greatest of the ‘Romantic’ artists.

It also features the Wye Bridge, which at that time was a timber structure with stone piers on the Monmouthshire side and was replaced by what is now known the current iron bridge in 1816.

The scene was one of 16 that Turner was commissioned to provide for engraving in John Walker’s Copper-Plate Magazine between 1794 and 1798.

Although no sketches of the painting exist, it is thought the view was inspired by his tour of Wales in June and July 1792 or his visit to the Welsh Marches the following year.

Cllr.Sara Burch (Lab, Cantref), Monmouthshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Inclusive and Active Communities, said: “It’s fantastic news that the painting will be coming back to Chepstow where Turner painted it at the age of 19.

“It will become the jewel of Monmouthshire’s collection of paintings and drawings inspired by the Wye Valley.

“I hope today’s young artists will see it and be inspired. We had thought purchase of a significant artwork like this was out of reach, until generous funders stepped in to save the painting for the nation and for Monmouthshire.”

Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851) is often referred to as “the painter of light” due for his evocative landscapes and seascapes.

Among his most famous works are Rain, Steam and Speed featuring the then relatively new technology of the steam engine and The‘Fighting Téméraire’ which shows one of Nelson’s ships at Trafalgar on its way to being broken up.

To find out more about Monmouthshire museums and their current exhibitions click here