Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Turner, the Tate, Art and Science, "Mr Turner" - the film …



Turner – the tubby man, the genius, the visionary … so many epithets have been used to describe ‘the greatest English painter’, or at least one of … depending on your predeliction …
 
The poster for the film

Turner abounds at the moment … The Late Turner Exhibition at the Tate, more earlier Turners upstairs in the galleries, comparisons with Constable, who also has an Exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and then across the tube stations and hoardings for the film, “Mr Turner”, released on Halloween – I wanted to write this post before I saw the film.


Turner: a self-portrait

In recent years I’ve been to see a few Turner Exhibitions – at Greenwich “Turner and the Sea”, down here on the south coast at Brighton … a small intimate Exhibition relative to the development of the early 1800s seaside resort.




I am a casual visitor … who enjoys the experience of learning more, and learning some … obviously I know of Turner … but when I see adjectives describing his colours as brimstone, brick dust, spinachie, eggy, fishy …
 
Fogo, NewFoundland, from Brimstone head

… against Turner’s favourite, but highly toxic, chrome yellow …


…. or his paintings as sublime landscapes, fiery engines, tempestuous seas, disruptive artworks … the painter crossed many boundaries – experimenting and experiencing life in the early 1800s.


Chrome Yellow in the art work
 "Shipwreck - The Minotaur"
 Turner was born in the same year as Jane Austen, though he lived another 44 years – but he was born into the rough and tumble of Covent Garden ... 


... his father was a barber and wigmaker … so Turner would see many faces and characters coming into his father’s shop for a hair shave, faces trimmed, or wigs refurbished … these trades essential in the time of ‘lice’ …
Hogarth's "Five Orders of Periwigs"
1761 


Turner was uneducated, his manners poor and he expressed liberal feelings … however he had a greater vision than his contemporaries …


He was born in the age of sail (1775) and died in the age of steam (1851) … he chronicled the times … the black belching smoke of the tugboat … the fiery furnaces of the new factories …


… the stormy tumultuous seas of the new age of exploration and travel … the fascination with the forces of nature and ‘our’ obsession with these forces …


"The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her
last berth to be broken up" 1839
Turner embraced, investigated, inquired into all things … he travelled extensively and continued to do so into old age … he tested, trialled, created anew, absorbing all the triggers of the age … he was never afraid to try …



The Industrial Revolution had started … and would rush ahead, leaving the Romanticists in its wake … Turner understood the human ingenuity being unleashed into 19th century Britain …

Modern Rare Earth Pigments

He discussed pigments with Michael Faraday – the fiery reds, chrome yellows: the colours of industry;


Turner gave lectures on perspectives … he had always been interested in the geometric rules of art …


Other lecturers were not ignored at Somerset House … the scientific gathering place for both artists and scientists …


Turner's use of the sun and light on landscape

William Herschel in 1801 gave a lecture on “the sun” – Turner listened and then went off and painted a masterpiece “The Festival upon the Opening of the Vintage of Macon” …


Luke Howard, a chemist and amateur meteorologist, gave a lecture in 1802 on clouds and how he categorised them … Turner in due course painted his series of Storm Clouds …


BeaufortHurricane Scale 12
Francis Beaufort, after years at sea … recording his interest in weather charts, also was part of the scientific set … Turner had always had a fascination with the sea … reflected in the names of his paintings: Storm Clouds, Twilight, Trees in a strong Breeze …


… as he had too with the powerful forces of nature or human intervention in the era of the Industrial Revolution …


Royal Institution, Albemarle Street -
where Davy's lectures were given
Humphrey Davy’s lectures gave rise to the first street lights – in 1807 Gas Lamps were lit in Pall Mall to enable the large audience to find their way to Albemarle Street, where the lectures were held.



Charles Babbage, the polymath, who is best remembered for originating the concept of the programmable computer … we can surmise what Turner, Babbage and Steve Jobs might have got up to in the 21st century …

 
Babbage's Difference Engine
What developments – yet Turner travelled all over Europe, always with a sketch book, crayon or paints on hand … to record, note, draft ideas … he never rested, never relaxed … always pondering …


Turner could see the order in the chaos … that was everything to do with the scientific discoveries that were changing our understanding of the forces of nature … the specialisations within science were yet to come …


This difficult, eccentric, flawed in many ways, man … gave us sublime, passionate and spiritual art that entrances us today – as seen in the many exhibitions, tv programmes, and by Olafur Eliasson, the Icelander’s excursion into Turner’s colour palette – so well explained in the adjunct hall at the Tate.


Olafur Eliasson - three of Turner's palettes
see more here



Turner was pugnacious, self-confident … refusing to sell works of art towards the end of his life – determined that they should make a collection for the British nation – now held at the Tate.





However he suffered from Parkinsons and drank to control the tremors … he had diabetes, cataracts, chronic fatigue – possibly caused by scurvy; he gained weight and lost his teeth – as his death mask confirms.


The cataracts probably came from the poisonous substances in the pigments he used … his later paintings overdo the harsh yellow … perhaps because oranges and yellows are the last colours a person with cataracts sees before he goes blind.

"Rain, Steam and Speed - the Great
Western Railway" (1844)

But he never gave up, he persevered … and for that we are grateful … who would think of painting a hare on the railway track in his 1844 “Rain, Steam and Speed – The Great Western Railway” …



Albert Durer: Young Hare 1502
… to depict speed … a hare can run at 35 mph, a horse: the only known human conveyance, made 4 mph, while here was the train forging out of the distance at a thundering pace of 40 mph and getting faster …


Turner left a huge legacy of works … encompassing many sciences and understandings of the day …


Timothy Spall, portraying the artist, in the new film by Mike Leigh researched and studied all he could to faithfully characterise Turner …


Spall has an A in art A-level from school … but used to spend a great deal of time visiting the Tate … for the film he took art lessons for two years … life drawing, still life, speed drawing, working in ink, watercolour and then oils …


William and his sister
Caroline Herschel
Spall suddenly understood the enormous concentration that was required of the great artists to make such large paintings … Rubens, Remrandt, Pousin, Claude Lorrain – a huge influence on Turner


Turner read books too ... Mary Somerville, the mathematician, and he discussed her publication “On Connexion of the Physical Sciences” (1834), which noted that electric currents would always affect a ship, wherever it was in the ocean.


The effect of iron filings experiments – used to show magnetism and electromagnetic fields … impacted so much on Turner that he painted a visual representation in his “Snow Storm” painting …



Iron filings and magnetic field

 …  in “Snow Storm – Steam Boat off a Harbour’s Edge” by studying it … you can see Turner was on the deck, you can see he went to the top of the mast … you know Turner was there …


 
Turner's "Snow Storm - Steam Boat
off a Harbour's Edge"

Turner manifested this incredible painting that shows the sea as a vast uncontrollable force and yet that underneath the chaos there is real regularity … the waves have a hairy quality, like iron filings in a magnetic field …


Turner had found a new way of painting and had created a visual language to express nature’s hidden forces …



An early Turner (1803)
Calais Pier
Turner chronicled all of these changes … reminding the Georgians and particularly the Victorians that they needed to keep up with the times, to embrace the new … Turner in his use of the maelstrom of paint stood out from the crowd …


With these recent exhibitions, discussions and now the film … will remind us of what a great visionary Turner became, and how his paintings heralded a new world … which we 150 years into that future actually can see today.


on at the Tate until
25 January 2015
 I hope you can all get to see the film, and in time get to other Turner exhibitions wherever you are in the world …


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

61 comments:

helen tilston said...

Hello Hilary,

The exhibitions currently running sound fascinating and I love Turner's paintings.
We saw the film Mr Turner last week. We were disappointed and felt it did not portray the genius of Turner. I think you Hilary should have directed the movie and given the audience a clearer picture of the man and his talent, in the same way you have written this post.

Many thanks for your review

Helen xx

Robyn Campbell said...

Wow, Hil. Turner had a lot of things wrong in his life.I guess back then there were a lot of toxins in the paint. I love his attitude. His work was amazing. I enjoyed learning about him. Would LOVE to attend a show. Want to see the film. Snow Storm is beautiful. It took my breath away. Wonderful post. xoxo

Paula Kaye said...

I can always come to your blog and be educated about something. I like that. Thank you!

Jo said...

I am lucky enough to have seen many Turner paintingw when, as a kid, we were taken to the Tate and other art galleries by the school - that was in the morning, went to the Old Vic in the afternoon. Funny don't remember where we ate! The Fighting Temeraire has always been my favourite. This was a fascinating article, I didn't know anything about Turner himself and I too would love to see the movie. I hope I get the chance.

J E Oneil said...

I don't recall the name, but I remember that painting from an Art History class I took. Very vivid and brilliant.

With all those toxins, painting sure used to be a dangerous job.

Out on the prairie said...

I haven't seen anything about the film, but will look it up to see where it will play near me.

bazza said...

Like Jo, above, 'The Fighting Temeraire' has long been my favourite Turner painting. It wonderfully depicts the age of steam impudently taking over from the dignity of sail. (One of) the odd facts about that painting is that Turner has, for artistic reasons, shown the setting sun as a metaphor for the end of an era but in fact the Temeraire was being towed to Rotherhithe at a time of day when the sun would have been behind the artist!
This was, for me, a hugely enjoyable and erudite post.
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s fabulous Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

L.G. Smith said...

I think I saw a clip of that movie on another site. Right up my alley, I think. Will have to look for it. What a fascinating life.

Fil said...

All this information is fantastic Hilary. It'll be good to know something about the man before seeing the film which I"m really looking forward to - Timothy Spall is a wonderful actor.
Sadly I've never been to the Tate or any of the great galleries to see these magnificent works in real life - it's on my list of must dos in the coming years. How lucky you are that you live so close to London.
Fil

Clarissa Draper said...

I want to see the film now! I have never heard of him but his paintings are fantastic, even though he painted with such toxic paints. I haven't seen (to my knowledge) any of his paintings.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The colors of industry. I'll have to remember that.
He saw a lot of changes during his time.

Denise Covey said...

Hi Hilary. Turner's works have the stamp of Industrial Britain, don't they? He lived such a long time. Imagine what Austen would have written if she'd lived another 40-odd years. Our loss!

I really enjoyed the history as always. Thank you for your careful research and reporting.

Denise:)

Nilanjana Bose said...

The Fighting Temeraire.. is one of my fav pieces of art. Enjoyed your detailed and informative post. Hope the film lives up to expectations and you enjoy it.

Nila.

Sridhar Chandrasekaran said...

You have such an interesting blog. Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed reading your posts. All the best for your future blogging journey.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Helen – the Tate exhibition is extraordinary ... and as you can imagine very popular – I need to spend more time in the Galleries dedicated to his other works.

Oh – well I shall definitely be interested to see the film … it’s had such good reviews … I wonder what I’ll think – I hope it adds to my understanding of Turner re this post.

Thanks so much for your thought – especially as you’re an artist … really appreciate this …

@ Robyn – yes he did have a lot going on and I’m sure was a very complex difficult character – especially being not very charming. But he was determined he was good at painting and good at ‘seeing the future’ …

Thanks so much .. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the film – it’ll definitely add a lot to this post … and I want to see more now … and learn about the other scientists of those early days ..

@ Paula – I teach myself .. but am glad you enjoy the read …

@ Jo – yes you were lucky … I had no concept of art in my school days – we, as a family, did go to the Uffizi gallery in Florence, so must have been to some London galleries. Also how lucky to have been to the Old Vic in the afternoon … I would think you took sandwiches with you … those were the days.

The Fighting Temeraire … is so well known to the public … so glad you enjoyed it .. and were able to learn about Turner and will make a plan to see the movie ..

@ Jeanne – JMW Turner is very British .. but there are some paintings in the States in various galleries. I now wish I’d done some Art History … but it’s good to learn as an ‘aged’ student! The toxins in the pigments were terrible … not good for the artist, or the artisan making them up …

@ OOTP – glad you’ll look the film up and hope you get to see it …

@ Bazza – yes I didn’t fully explain all the aspects of the Fighting Temeraire – so thanks for your comment. I’d no idea about the setting sun aspect – I knew he took liberties and if I’d had some brains I’d have worked out about Rotherhithe … and where the sun would have been!!

Just delighted you enjoyed the post and were able to glean some extra bits of information …

@ LG – that’s great that at least you know about the film … and now you’ll enjoy it a little more with these basic facts …

@ Fil – yes I’m lucky I live near London and can get up reasonably often … Timothy Spall is a brilliant actor – and this I gather has been portrayed really well … Mike Leigh is an avant garde director …

I hope someday you can fulfil your dream and get to London to see some of the galleries …

@ Clarissa – well that’s wonderful if I’ve given you a prompt to look out for the film. Turner certainly set London society on fire with his art works in the early 1800s and was obviously fully engaged with life around him …

@ Alex – yes the colours of industry: is a good phrase. He lived in a time of great change, but recognised the opportunities …

@ Denise – Turner certainly portrayed what he saw and what he envisioned from those recent developments …

Yes if Austen had lived as long as Turner we’d be very happy reading her books … I’m glad you enjoyed the post and its glimpse of the change that was happening …

@ Nila – another tick for the Fighting Temeraire – Turner was incredible at representing his ideas in paint … I shall see the film in the next few days …

@ Sridhar – many thanks …

Cheers everyone – so glad you enjoyed the posting … and I’ll let you know my thoughts re the film … Hilary

T. Powell Coltrin said...

First of all, I'm hung up on his dad being a wigmaker. I'm thinking what a cool vocation. Secondly, I want to say I LOVE his paintings.

Oh to be so talented.

Sharon Himsl said...

Thanks, Hilary. I learned a lot here, about an artist I've never heard of before. The detail you share is amazing. I hope the film makes it to America. (Not sure what to make of the comment above regarding American women. He is obviously dealing with some 'bitter stew' brought on by someone who broke his heart. I happen to know that not all American woman fit this description. I hope he meets someone to prove his theory wrong).

Elise Fallson said...

Turner was such a talented artist and I would love to go back and visit the Tate and V&A. When I lived near Washington DC my father would take me to the National Gallery of Art, there were a few of Turner's paintings on display. My father has always enjoyed his paintings, as do I. Hope you enjoy the movie. :)

Gattina said...

I like Turner and have seen several exhibitions of his paintings, they are so full of atmosphere !

Optimistic Existentialist said...

It certainly seems as if Mr. Turner was quite a talented and interesting fellow. I really would love to learn more about art :)

Sara said...

I gobbled up this post. I'm not familiar with Turner's works, but you made me want to know more about them by your words about Turner.

I love when you write like this and show me the real human aspects of someone famous. Your words make the person seem more real to me. You did this very well with Turner

Who knows when the film will reach us, but I will look for it, especially now!

Lisa said...

What a great post Hilary. Thank you for introducing me to Turner... I'll see the movie when it comes out over here.

M Pax said...

Wow, he had a lot of issues later in life. I really like the painting of the snow storm, despite having had too much of the white stuff lately.

beste barki said...

Hi Hilary, the information you have provided on Turner is extensive. I'm going to have to study your post carefully. All I know is that I love his paintings. Beste

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Teresa .. the professions/trades were different then weren't they .. it's the lice I worry about ... I gather Turner spent a lot of his childhood years sketching the faces of his father's clients ...

He was extraordinarily talented ..

@ Sharon - I'm glad the post resonated with you .. and it's out in the States ..

@ Elise - I'm sure you'll be able to get over to England from France at some stage .. and see the Museums .. I hope so! You'll have picked up a lot of knowledge from your father - which is lovely ...


I'm looking forward to seeing the movie ..

@ Gattina - his paintings are absolutely full of atmosphere ...

@ Keith - well I know little about art .. but I'm now putting my toe into the art world's water .. very slowly!

@ Sara - delighted you enjoyed the post. I'm just glad Turner's character resonated - there's more to him, which comes out in the film, but I just drafted the post more from a historical point of view ..

Thanks so much and enjoy the time with your daughters .. the film is out now in the States ...

@ Lisa - that's great I've opened doors for you .. now I'm blogging I find different ways into different worlds - all good learning processes ...

@ Mary - it was the 18th C and he lived a relatively long life .. but it's interesting we can find out about his maladies .. and learn the reasons why he perhaps painted like he did .. the fact he had scurvy, and the fact he had cataracts and that the oranges and yellows are the last hues to be seen ...

You've had enough white-outs for a while I'd guess ...

@ Beste - that's great .. I'm just glad you'll be looking at other details about Turner .. and that you already love his works ...

Cheers everyone - thanks so much ... enjoy any further Turner research you get to do .. Hilary

PS for those in the States .. I hope you stay safe and warm with your snow deluges ..

Bossy Betty said...

What a life and an inspiration. Very interesting to read about his life. I am hoping to see the movie when it comes here. What a talented man.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

He sounded like a mad genius hungry and fascinated by knowledge and science.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Darn, my comment didn't show up. And I'm sure I said something witty, too. Or maybe it was an expression of awe over how much time and effort you put into your posts, Hilary. I always learn something interesting.

TexWisGirl said...

i have to admit, i'm not up on fine art, but i enjoyed those works you shared. and he certainly suffered through a lot of maladies!

Suze said...

Hil, the film, the exhibition and all the details of this artist's life would not have even been a blip on my radar were it not for this excellent post. Thank you!

Patsy said...

He was a brilliant artist - he really knew how to use the light and many of his paintings have a real sense of movement. He seems to have been an incredible man too.

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi, Hilary. Thanks for sharing about the artist and his paintings. Quite a lot of interesting information. I didn't know that that oranges and yellows were the last colors a person with cataracts sees before going blind.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

That sounds like a terrific exhibit. Thanks for filling us in on some of the information about the artist behind the artwork. It's always fascinating to learn about the inspirations behind those works of art.

There's a big Cezanne exhibit going on at the High Museum in Atlanta. I'm hoping to convince Smartacus that he "wants to go" to it.

Cheers! And a very happy weekend to you.

Christine Rains said...

What an amazing artist. I'm a huge fan of the colors he uses. Have a terrific weekend!

Jannie Funster said...

It is wonderful to remember the past that has led us here.

So many changes he saw in his lifetime. I like hearing about the man as a person, as I do with so many artists.

I believe that yellow of his was the inspiration for our school buses over here. Incredible use of light, yes. I love how Eliasson has put those palettes into digital wheels, cool!! And did not know that about how cataract sufferers see the yellows and oranges. Interesting, for sure!

As to those wigs, they are so big they could've draped their heads with small whole sheep and got the same effect. :) Funny how the styles and schools of thought come and go.

Sounds like a movie I would dearly love to see!!

Always great to be here, Hilary, yes less frequently than of yore as our busy life continues to rumble along here, but I think of you everyday!

xoxoxooxoxoxo
BB says he'd like to see the hare in blue. :)



Patricia said...


A new artist to me, although I have been to the TATE, I must not have remembered - the yellow I do remember, it must have been his work in Art Appreciation in college?
Wonderful write up and I would like to see the movie now too. Thank you for sharing.

Wonderful artist Keith Palmer of North Pennine Gallery is designing the Chinese Healing Arts Year of the Ram T shirt for Chinese New Year - His work is spectacular and is water colors and folks enjoy the fair in Edinburgh are a delight. Maybe an artist for the future.
I so enjoyed your adventure here
and all the lovely comments

Lynn said...

I'm taken by the self portrait - he really caught himself, which must be difficult to do.

Coral Wild said...

Thanks for such an informative post Hilary.

The few Turner paintings I've seen have always "spoken" to me. What a talented man!

It seems to be a common trait that so many great artists (in any form) are impossible to live with.

I read somewhere once that manic depressives are at their most inspired creativity when on their "highs" e.g. van Gogh (another favourite artist of mine).

But I suppose the key is that great art is not usually produced by selfless people:)

Empty Nest Insider said...

Turner certainly lived through eventful times. It's a shame he developed major health issues. Thanks for the interesting backstory on this talented artist's life, Hilary!

Julie

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Betty - it is an inspirational life isn't it ... and I'm looking forward to seeing the film and to understanding more about Turner and art in general ...

@ Susan - you're so right:he had an appetite for learning and for understanding - with an ability to translate his knowledge into his paintings ..

@ Joylene - sorry about losing your comment - it can happen can't it. Thank you - I just enjoy putting the posts together and therefore learn as much as I can while 'researching' ..

@ TWG - I fall into your slot - I'm not at all up on art ... but writing these sorts of articles pushes my boundaries .. and being able to work out the diseases he had, not only gives us greater insight into Turner, but also the times ...

@ Suze - delighted you enjoyed this post and my insights/information on the world of Turner ... I hope you get to see the film ...

@ Patsy - yes he was very interested in exploring how light affected the colours etc, and then he obtained that sense of movement .. so true - certainly a different man - apparently, but so talented ...

@ Susanne - there was a great deal I didn't know ... especially the way cataracts develop - I learnt a great deal too

Thanks everyone .. have happy weekends - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Susan - it's certainly brought in the visitors and encouraged us to take a look at Turner's late works - painted after he was 60 ... I'll be more aware now ..

Enjoy the Cezanne exhibition at the High Museum - I certainly hope you can persuade Smarticus he wants to see it!! I'm sure you'll go - I'd love to see it too ...

@ Christine - thanks .. glad you enjoyed seeing his colour palettes - they've certainly brought something extra to our knowledge ...

@ Jannie - hiya: how lovely to see you! It is good to remember our past isn't it - to see the developments we're experiencing in this day and age.

I'm glad I put in some of the science that was being looked at in that era - reminds us of how much went on in the great minds of the time ... and how they all interlinked.

I think the film will portray more about his life - I'm looking forward to it - to see what I think about it ...

Was the school bus colour inspired by Turner's use of yellow - really interesting .. thanks for adding that snippet.

Eliasson has inspired me .. when I see his name pop up .. I'm off to explore and see what he's doing - I'd like to get back to his Exhibition again ...

Aren't the wigs amazing ... but essential as head-lice were rampant ...

I hope you can get to see the movie ...

Thanks for coming back for a visit - life gets busy .. especially with an active teenager ... Hardwick and I keep plodding on too ... and remember you and Blue Bunny - I didn't have time to paint Durer's Hare!!

@ Patricia - yellow would have popped up as Chrome Yellow was a new synthetic .. and many artists used the bright colours .. as too the social colour for drawing rooms in the 1800s ...

That's good to know about Keith Palmer - enjoy his exhibition and work .. thanks for visiting ..

@ Lynn - yes the self-portrait is amazing isn't it ... I had to put it into the post, especially as it appears to be really accurate - as you comment ..

@ Coral - I need to acquire more knowledge about art - but I guess I'm on the way. Yes - clever inspirational people seem, often, to be very difficult to live with - apparent here ..

I'm sure you're right about the manic depressive aspects ... and as you mention Van Gogh saw things very differently ...

It does seem that great art is created by people passionate about their talents .. .

@ Julie - Turner spanned a great period in history and because he was in London was able to learn from it ... but health issues were 'normal' in the 1800s .. no-one knew any different.

Thanks everyone - so glad you enjoyed reading something about Turner ... have happy weekends .. cheers Hilary

Caryn Caldwell said...

This is cool! I'd heard of him, of course, but hadn't really paid attention to his work in particular. Now I definitely have a new appreciation for it!

Vanessa Morgan said...

What a coincidence. I also just wrote about Mr Turner today ;-) Have a lovely weekend.

Chatty Crone said...

Okay I fell dumb. I don't know that name, I don't know his paintings, and I have not seen the movie.

I did learn a lot about him today - colorful guy.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Thanks for an informative and entertaining piece of writing about JMWT.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Caryn - that's great ... these 'full on' exhibitions bring art to life ... when I can get to grips with understanding it and the times better.

@ Vanessa - thanks .. I've been over to see your Ghent film festival reviews .. good to read the Turner film was well received.

@ Sandie - we now you know a little more (I hope) .. and it might be a good film to see ... to see England two hundred years ago?!

@ John - good to see you and thanks for stopping off ..

Cheers everyone from a warm, gloomy misty coastal day .. Hilary

Manzanita said...

You did a marvelous post and introduced us, esp. me to a man I did not know. A god given talent sends the artist on to explore other areas of art, as was the way with Turner

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

Hello Hilary from a damp & wet johannsburg!

Turner's art is beautiful, I didn't know there was a film about him - thaks for alerting me to it. Will have to make a point of getting the DVD.

Judy Croome, South Africa : Words in the Hands of Love

M. J. Joachim said...

The vision of Turner is fascinating, Hilary. Your thorough and detailed research is exciting, making me want to see the film and study Mr. Turner and his work so much more. It sounds like he was a wonderful soul with so much to give and share with the world. Thank you for this amazing post!

Julia Hones said...

Hilary,
I love this post about Turner and how you connected his art with the historical period and with other historical figures. Well done. Brilliant.
I love the artwork. I will check the paintings again now. It feels like an art exhibition!
I turned off the comments on my latest post to let people reflect on the post without having to comment on it.
Thank you for this fascinating post.

Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! said...

Hi human, Hilary,

Another highly informative article, my kind human friend.

My human, Gary, has always had a fascination with the works of Turner. However, he could never express it as well as you have. A marvellous collection of thoughts and paintings here.

Of course, my human mentioned that he used to live in Blackheath and wandered many a time to Greenwich.

Thank you for this, Hilary.

Pawsitive wishes,

Penny

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Manzanita - that's great that you appreciate Turner via this post ... and the fact you picked up he had that talent to explore other areas of art and science ...

@ Judy - is it damp and wet down south - bet the sun is out now! The film is only just out .. so it'll be in the Johannesburg cinemas soon ...

@ MJ - good to know the post made you interested to learn more. I'm not sure he was a wonderful soul! - but he certainly did an awful lot for art and science through his paintings.

@ Julia - thanks .. I can do the history justice, but the art I only see .. though I must say I understand it a little better .. I need to research styles and techniques sometime - read the experts' books about Turner and others.

Thanks for your note re the comments being turned off ... now I know.

@ Penny - good to see you .. and glad you enjoyed this post about Turner. I remember you saying your Gary used to live in Blackheath and would walk through to Greenwich.

Cheers to you all and thanks for your interesting comments - Hilary

Juliet Batten said...

i've always been interested in Turner, and have loved seeing his paintings when I've been in London. But I always learn extra from you, and am fascinated by the hare on the tracks (I never saw it), the iron filings influencing the snow storm painting, the fact that he was born int he same year as Jane Austin - and more. Thanks Hilary, this was so interesting.

Sarah E. Albom said...

Those are beautiful pictures - Turner sounds very interesting!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Juliet - the hare on the tracks ... I'd heard about it on a 2013 tv programme and had noted it then - so was very glad to be able to put it into context.

Putting the iron filings image near to the Snowstorm painting - does show what Turner was trying to do and what he and Mary Somerville discussed - brought it to life for me.

I know the fact that Turner and Austen were born in the same year ... sort of adds a lot to the history ... and as you say more: I learnt so much writing this up.

@ Sarah - you'll get a chance to see some of these paintings when you next come over to London ... and I'm sure with your creative eye will appreciate his works a great deal.

Thanks Juliet and Sarah - lovely to see you New Zealanders together! Cheers Hilary

Mary Montague Sikes said...

What a great post about Turner, one of my favorite artists! I would love to see the Tate exhibition. Will it travel anywhere in the US?
Thanks for sharing so much wonderful information, Hilary!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Monti .. I suspect you'll have to make do with the film - I'm afraid ... I haven't seen that it's a travelling exhibition ...

Perhaps you need to make a trip to London??!! There are one or two of his works in American museums ...

Good to see you here and I'm glad you appreciated the post .. cheers Hilary

loverofwords said...

I saw Turners at the Tate years ago and what surprised me seeing them in person and how large some of the painting were. You could stand there and physically get lost in the paintings, as if you were in the scene. I will see the movie one way or another. How you do this week after week Hilary, I do not know. I learn so much from you.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tasha .. I've never really studied Turner, but now I've learnt more I must go and spend more time looking and trying to understand the paintings. I'm glad you'll see the movie at some stage ...

I just enjoy the learning and so post on things that interest me, or give me a bit of light relief .. food, history etc ... but I'm delighted you enjoy your visits here - many thanks ..

Cheers Hilary

Deniz Bevan said...

Lovely detailed post, Hilary! Turner's one of my favourite artists but I've never really read about him; this is a great introduction. I hadn't known there was a film!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Deniz .. thanks so much ... and I'm going to write about the film shortly ... glad you enjoyed finding out a bit about Turner ...

Cheers Hilary