J.W. Turner (1775–1851) was a British painter famous for his romantic landscapes, water-colours and printmaking. Turner’s talent was recognised early on in his career and he was an energetic and prolific painter throughout his life. For many it is his later works and their increased abstract feel that defines the painter. This exhibition brings together works from the last 16 years of Turner’s life; from 1835 to his last show at the RA in 1850.
During his later years Turner continued to investigate natural phenomena, history and culture and there are over 150 of these works on display. The exhibition will delight Turner fans. His use of colour was at its boldest during this period and there are so many dazzling works on display some that have not been shown before. There are 6 rooms each with a different theme: one room is dedicated to the pictures he made during his last travels abroad. Turner loved to travel and during 1835 – 1845 he travelled extensively around continental Europe and there are stunning watercolours from his trips to Venice, Val d’Aosta, Switzerland and Germany. His passion for the sea forms the theme of another room and the walls here are filled with paintings of seascapes, stormy waters, ships and Whaling scenes. The final room presents some of the last paintings he ever made and there are three recently restored paintings from his final exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1850.
In addition to this exhibition is the Tate’s permanent Turner collection. The Clore Gallery is dedicated solely to the works of Turner and it is a fantastic place to explore the artist’s work. If one wants to put the paintings of the Later Turner exhibition in context and see how his style evolved over his life then it is well worth spending some time in this wing of the Tate Britain as well.
The Late Turner Exhibition is currently on at the Tate Britain in London until 25th January 2015. For more information visit www.tate.org.uk or click here. The works in the Clore Gallery form part of the Tate Britain’s permanent collection and entry is free.
Footnotes and credits: Image and copyrights belong to the Tate.