AN INTIMATE exhibition of paintings by an artist many consider to be England’s greatest is coming to Swindon’s Museum and Art Gallery for a two-month stay on October 15.

JMW Turner is best known for his large paintings in oils, but the exhibition – entitled Turner: Watercolours from the West – shows off his formidable skills in a different medium.

Six of the eight pictures were painted in Bristol when he was a young man aged between 16 and 17 and studying at the Royal Academy. None has been on regular public display.

Alongside the Turners, Swindon Museum and Art Gallery will be displaying art from its own outstanding collection of 20th Century British modern art, including works by John Piper and Graham Sutherland.

These artists could be regarded as the modern ‘heirs’ to Turner, as their work celebrates the beauty and diversity of the British landscape, including the rocky hillsides and waterfalls found in some of Turner’s pictures.

The arrival of the Turners is the result of a new partnership between Swindon Museum & Art Gallery and four other museums and art galleries in Bristol, Bath and Cheltenham.

Swindon is the second stop on the four-venue tour, which began at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, where the pictures are kept.

Helen Miah, commissioner for Leisure, Libraries & Culture, said: “We are really excited to showcase Turner in Swindon, one of Britain’s finest artists alongside one of Britain’s finest collections of Modern Art. We hope these beautiful pictures will appeal to everyone and hope lots of Swindon people will come to see for themselves.”

Sophie Cummings, Swindon Museum and Art Gallery’s Curator, said: “Turner’s watercolours are his freshest and most spontaneous works. They are light, delicate and bring the beautiful scenery of the south-west and Wales to life.

“Some of these pictures have rarely been on public display and we are excited to showcase them in Swindon.”

Turner: Watercolours from the West will be at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery from October 15 to December 13. More information is available at swindon.