For the first time ever, visitors to National Museum Cardiff will be able to see Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales’ seven oil paintings by one of Britain ’s most celebrated artists, JMW Turner (1775-1851) displayed together, at a new exhibition which opened on Tuesday, 25 September 2012.

Until recently, Amgueddfa Cymru could claim to have only four Turner oils in the collection, but now after recent research and examination by Museum experts and with the help of the BBC’s Fake or Fortune programme, which was broadcast on Sunday (23 September, 7.00pm, BBC One) it has been concluded that all seven are authentic Turner oil paintings.

The three paintings, which were in question and which were highlighted in BBC’s Fake or Fortune programme are Beacon Light, Margate Jetty and Off Margate.

All seven of the paintings were bequeathed to the Museum in 1951 and 1963 as genuine works by Turner by Gwendoline and Margaret Davies. The Davies sisters of Llandinam are most renowned for their collection of impressionist paintings however Turner was undoubtedly one of their favourite artists and one of the first artists that they acquired. Between 1908 and 1926 the Davies sisters collected an impressive 13 watercolours and 9 oil paintings. Although bought at different times and from different sources, all of the oil paintings were thought to have come from the same small group of late seascapes.

Doubts about the Davies Turners were first expressed by the dealers Agnews, shortly after Gwendoline’s bequest to the Museum. A memo from the Keeper of Art to the Director in 1955 states, ‘I find it hard to understand this criticism, but since it comes from that particular source, we are obliged to take it seriously.’

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