The Cooper Gallery’s Turner on tour

A very special painting from the Cooper Gallery’s unique watercolour collection will be going on tour this autumn.

People are urged to pay a visit to the town centre gallery and see ‘A View of Old Bregenz’ by JMW Turner (1775-1851), before the treasured artwork travels to Japan in October.

The painting will tour four locations around Japan as part of the exhibition “Turner and the Poetics of Landscape”, returning back to Barnsley in November 2018. 

The pieces will be seen at key centres in Japan bringing the work of one of the greatest British romantic artists to large new audiences. 

The exhibition will feature an extensive loan from the National Galleries of Scotland, along with key works from Japanese collections. The works explore the rich variety of Turner's engagement with landscape, ranging from his early explorations of topography to the artist's late, highly imaginative evocations of landscapes he admired during his extensive travels.

The striking watercolour in the Cooper Gallery’s collection is one of four views of Bregenz, Austria, from different vantage points, painted by Turner while on route to Venice in the summer of 1840. The distinctive topography of the town, built on a series of terraces that descend towards Lake Constance, would likely have caught his attention, while the ancient churches and picturesque architecture also made it a natural subject.

There will still be a number of great works by the great artist on display in the Cooper Gallery.  In this first change to its displays since opening a year ago, they will be placing on display another two JMW Turner watercolours: ‘The Ancient Market Place, Salisbury’ and ‘The New Council Room, Salisbury’.  Bequeathed to the Gallery in 1978 by Mrs Joan Thirsk, widow of Captain Roland Addy, these beautifully detailed and atmospheric paintings were commissioned in the 1790s by Sir Richard Colt Hoare of Stourhead, as part of a series of views of Salisbury.   

Cllr Roy Miller, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place, said: “We are thrilled that a piece from the Cooper Gallery’s collection will be featured in such a high profile international exhibition. Now is an ideal time for those interested in seeing the piece to take a look before it travels to Japan. There are a number of other masterpieces in the watercolour collection which are currently on display for visitors to enjoy, including those by artists Vanessa Bell, Paul Nash, Peter de Wint and Henry Moore.”

For more information about the Cooper Gallery collection please visit . The majority of the collection is also available to view online at