A collector and a painter, J. Pierpont Morgan and James Mallard William Turner -- two important figures in the history of art -- will be linked in a sale at Sotheby's in the fall.
"Landscape With Walton Bridge," one of the last of Morgan's treasures in family hands, and one of the last of Turner's paintings in private hands, is estimated to bring more than $1 million in an October sale at the New York auction house. The painting, which depicts an arched double bridge in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, was painted in the 1840s and has not been publicly displayed since 1943.
Most of Morgan's vast collection, which he acquired at the turn of the century by spending vast sums of his banking fortune, was left to New York institutions after his death in 1913. His paintings, antiquities and European works of art were left to the Metropolitan Museum of Art; his manuscripts and rare books form the backbone of the Morgan Library collection, which opened to the public in 1924.
Most of Turner's output -- hihgly regarded now, unpopular then -- was left to the British government on his death in 1851. This painting was left to Sophia Caroline Booth, his companion, and by the late 19th century it had been acquired by Morgan.
Morgan left the painting to his son, J.P. Morgan, who in turn, left it to his son, Henry S. Morgan, who died last February. Catherine Adams Morgan, his widow, is putting it up for sale.
So much of J. Pierpont Morgan's fortune went into his collection that on his death it was revealed that his net worth amounted to $68 million, causing John D. Rockefeller to comment, "Why, to think he wasn't even a rich man."