A Turner painting which was thought to be fake for over a century has been re-attributed to the painter – and fetched £1million at an auction last week. 

Cilgerran Castle is an oil painting that depicts the view from Cilgerran Castle. This painting, which was created by J. M. W Turner in 1897, remains a mystery to art professionals for over 100 years. 

Ever since the Guildhall’s 1899 exhibition, scholars of art have debated whether the painting is legitimate.

The final agreement was reached that Turner had likely painted the painting at the beginning his career. However, he made alterations to the piece that were closer to the end of Turner’s life.

The Telegraph reports that experts have been able to prove the authenticity of Turner’s alteration, thanks to decades of research and the use modern technology. 

An oil painting of Cilgerran Castle in Wales by J. W. W. Turner, pictured, which was thought to be a fake for over a century, has been re-attributed to the master – and it sold for £1million at a Sotheby’s auction this week

And the work has now been sold for £1 million at an Old Masters evening auction at Sotheby’s. 

 It took three years to verify the authenticity of the painting, Julian Gascoigne, Sotheby’s senior specialist of British paintings said.  

After the auction house had initially valued the painting, the team decided it needed further investigation and should be compared to its original counterpart to verify it was genuine.    

Ian Warrell (a Turner expert) examined the paintings at Cragside. He concluded that they likely were created “by the same hand”.

Turner, pictured in a drawing from 1867,  bought the painting via proxy, modified it and sold it again

Turner, pictured in a drawing from 1867,  bought the painting via proxy, modified it and sold it again 

Mr Gascoigne said: ‘The final piece of the jigsaw puzzle…was that this picture was re-purchased in 1827 from Sir John Fleming Leicester, an incredibly important collector who had bought the picture years earlier, by Turner himself.

Turner purchased some work from the State with the intention of selling it.  

Turner hired an agent to purchase back his work. This resulted is a different name on the catalogue. 

Warrell found a report in the press that revealed Turner had purchased the painting through proxies in 1827. 

Gascoigne said that Turner was in a late stage of life when he received the painting back. He set out to correct any issues he didn’t like. 

After making the alteration, Turner sold it to his patron, Hugh Andrew Johnstone, Munro of Novar. 

The Sotheby’s team employed a special X-ray fluorescence machine to identify the paint components and elements in the painting. 

The painting, pictured, was bought back by Turner later in his life and he set out to rectify the aspects of his earlier work he was not satisfied with

Turner bought the painting (pictured) later in life. He set about rectifying any issues with his previous work. 

They compared the data with their research to verify that it was Turner’s painting.   

Technology has allowed experts to uncover some of the secrets of some of history’s most revered painters.  

In October,  hidden Picasso painting of a naked, crouching woman that lies underneath one of his other works was reconstructed by scientists using artificial intelligence and three-dimensional printing.

University College London (UCL), said their replica of “The Lonesome Crouching Nude”, would make sure that this work wasn’t ‘erased’ from history.

Experts suspect that Picasso painted the canvas over with some reluctance to reuse it at an early stage of his career and when he wasn’t very wealthy.

The original was first revealed under Picasso’s late 1903 work ‘The Blind Man’s Meal’ — a restatement of the Christian sacrament — by X-ray fluorescence scans in 2010.

Its discovery ended a long search for the lost work — which was known from its depiction in the background of ‘La Vie’, a contemporary oil painting by Picasso.

All three works come from the artist’s ‘Blue Period’ of 1901–1904, which were all monochromatic and inspired in part by the suicide of his friend Carles Casagemas, as well as by Picasso’s travels through Spain.

‘The Blind Man’s Meal’ — and the earlier work it conceals — is presently held in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Researchers have not recreated this work before. They previously replicated a portrait of woman hidden under Amedeo Modigliani’s 1917 ‘Portrait of a Girl’.