The beauty of pollution

On the back of the British £20 note, J.M.W. Turner appears against the backdrop of his most iconic image. Voted the country’s favourite painting in 2005, ‘The Fighting Temeraire’ (1838) was Turner’s favourite too. It remained in his possession until his death; the 70-year-old artist swore in a letter of 1845 that ‘no consideration of money or favour can induce me to lend my Darling again’. But I suspect he would have approved of his darling’s current loan, along with that letter, to the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle as part of the National Gallery’s bicentenary programme of loans of national treasures to regional museums. Turner relished the atmospheric effects