The Bank of England. Picture: BLOOMBERG
The Bank of England. Picture: BLOOMBERG

London — The Bank of England launched a new £20 banknote on Thursday featuring British painter JMW Turner.

Famed for his depictions of coastal landscapes, Turner replaces 18th Century economist Adam Smith as the current face of the £20 note.

“Our banknotes celebrate the UK's heritage, salute its culture, and testify to the achievements of its most notable individuals,” BoE Governor Mark Carney said at the launch of the banknote at the Turner Contemporary art gallery in Margate, southeast England.

“The new £20 note celebrates Turner, his art and his legacy in all their radiant, colourful, evocative glory.”

The BoE chose Turner, who died in 1851, from a shortlist of visual artists which included filmmaker Charlie Chaplin, sculptor Barbara Hepworth, painter William Hogarth and designer Josiah Wedgwood.

Turner joins Winston Churchill and Jane Austen as the subjects of Bank of England notes. A new £50 note with 20th Century computer scientist Alan Turing will be launched in 2021.

Reuters