Painting of iconic Cumbrian landscape restored after surprise find in USA

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A painting of an iconic Cumbrian landscape has been restored after being discovered by chance in America.

Now their are hopes the piece could eventually be returned to its home county as it goes on sale here in the UK.

Art dealer Greg Page-Turner made the discovery while browsing a sale in Philadelphia, USA, a few years ago.

Although based in Devon, he has links to Cumbria and immediately appreciated the significance of the famous Lake District landscape - from Pooley Bridge looking towards Ullswater.

The oil painting is by artist Joseph Farington, a late 18th century and early 9th century English landscape painter. Some of his other works are currently on display in a Wordsworth Trust exhibition in Grasmere.

As one of the group of artists which descended on the Lake District in search of picturesque landscapes, Farington was influential in attracting tourists to the area during that era.

It was these Romantic artists and writers whose portrayal of the wild and rugged landscapes transformed public opinion, bringing fresh crowds to an area previously seen as a barren wilderness.

Farington's views of the Lakes were engraved and published in book form in 1789 and 1816.

This particular piece, painted from Pooley Bridge looking out towards the iconic Ullswater landscape, is dated April 1, 1814.

Mr Page-Turner explained how he came to acquire it, and why - after Pooley Bridge itself was devastated by flooding in December 2015 - it became all the significant in his mind.

"It was discovered in Philadelphia USA a few years ago it had been in a private collection for 60 to 70 years," he said.

"I'm based in Devon but have parents-in-law in Cumbria and have friends who live near Pooley Bridge.

"The painting is engraved and that landscape is particularly interesting and topical at this time."

Mr Page-Turner is keen to see it return to Cumbria if a local buyer can now be found.

"I'm an art dealer by trade so I scan a lot of auctions online. I saw this and it stuck out. I thought it would be an interesting project. It had been damaged by water so I've had it restored.

"What might interest readers is to try and work out exactly where it was painted from. I'd be keen to find out.

"It's available for sale and it would be nice to see it end up in a collection in Cumbria. It's in London at the moment."

The painting has a £12,000 price tag and can be viewed by appointment. For more information visit www.artwarefineart.com/gallery/ullswater-pooley-bridge-looking-helvellyn-distance.

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