Revealed: The face of the new £20 banknote

Exciting news emerged over the weekend on who would replace economist Adam Smith on the £20 note.

Adam Smith’s image has featured on the £20 banknote since 2007, but early last year the Bank of England announced plans to replace him.

The bank of England asked the British public to nominate “people of historical significance” from the world of visual arts, from a list of 590 eligible candidates. Some of the nominations included Alfred Hitchcock, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Richard Attenborough, Beatrix Potter and William Blake.

Of the 590 candidates, just 5 were shortlisted by a Bank committee and included – artist JMW Turner, designer Josiah Wedgwood, filmmaker Charlie Chaplin, sculptor Barbara Hepworth and painter William Hogarth.

The final decision was made by the Bank’s governor, Mark Carney and it has now been revealed that artist JMW Turner and his painting ‘The Fighting Temeraire’ will feature on the new £20 banknote.

The design

The design features Turner’s self-portrait from 1788 along with one of his most famous paintings ‘The Fighting Temeraire’ which is a tribute to the ship HMS Temeraire which played an important role during the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

The quote ‘Light is therefore colour’ comes from a lecture by Turner at the Royal Academy in 1818 and his signature is taken from will when he donated all of his works to the nation.

Due to enter into circulation in 2020, the £20 note will be the third banknote made from Polymer, following on from the £5 note featuring Winston Churchill and the £10 note featuring Jane Austen. The £50 note will remain in circulation with the same design and there are currently no plans for them to be issued in polymer.