Mark Studer, ‘Inconvenient Art Bequests’

“The recent biographical film Mr Turner was based around the last 25 years of the painter’s life, culminating in his death incognito in Chelsea. What the film omitted was any particulars of Turner’s testamentary dispositions, or the flurry of Chancery litigation to which his Will and its Codicils subsequently gave rise. Turner made his first Will in 1831, some 20 years before his death. After some small family legacies and annuities, the main provision was for the establishment of a charity to house and maintain destitute artists. Turner also gave to the National Gallery his paintings Dido Building Carthage and The Decline of the Carthaginian Empire, on the specific conditions that they accepted them within a period of 12 months after his death and then exhibited them between Claude’s two canvases Seaport and The Mill …”

Mark Studer, Inconvenient Art Bequests, Trusts and Trustees, Volume 24, Issue 7, 1 September 2018, Pages 645–652, https://doi.org/10.1093/tandt/tty121.

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