October 24, 2008 / 1:58 PM / 10 years ago

Turner painting set to fetch up to $16 million

J.M.W Turner's "The Temple of Jupiter Panellenius" is seen in this undated photo made available in London October 24, 2008. REUTERS/Sotheby's/Handout

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - A painting by British master J.M.W. Turner is expected to fetch $12-16 million at a New York auction in January, Sotheby’s said on Friday.

According to the auctioneer, “The Temple of Jupiter Panellenius” is one of the most important oil paintings by the artist remaining in private hands and has been in the collection of fine art dealer Richard L. Feigen for over 25 years.

The 1816 picture is one of only three oil landscapes by the artist with an ancient Greek theme and depicts figures rejoicing in the foreground against a rising sun and the Temple to Jupiter Panellenius.

It will go on show at Sotheby’s showrooms in the United States and Europe ahead of the January 29 auction in New York.

The auction record for a Turner painting is $35.8 million set in New York in April, 2006.

The art market has begun to show strong signs of weakness after a long bull run, although several experts believe old masters could hold their value better than post-war and contemporary works throughout the financial turmoil.

Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato

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