22 November 2013–21 April 2014 Opening on 22 November 2013, Turner and the Sea at the National Maritime Museum is the first full-scale examination of J.M.W Turner’s lifelong fascination with the sea. Dramatic, contemplative, violent, beautiful, dangerous and sublime – the sea was the perfect subject to showcase Turner’s singular talents, and the 120 pieces on display include some of the most celebrated paintings of the artist’s long career.
The extraordinary quality of the works gathered together for Turner and the Seaconfirms his status as the pre-eminent painter of water, and demonstrates his unique ability to represent the elemental power of the sea. From his transformative Royal Academy paintings of the late 1790s and early 1800s to the unfinished, experimental seascapes he produced towards the end of his life, more than half of Turner’s artistic output depicted maritime subjects.
It should come as no surprise that a man who spent much of his life along the coastlines of Britain and Europe, who spent days fishing the river Thames, and who reportedly had himself lashed to the mast of a ship to better paint a storm at sea, captured this subject so often and with such evocative mastery. Nonetheless, the sheer volume of material Turner created in his quest to depict the sea is remarkable.
Encompassing oils, watercolours, prints and sketches, the exhibition follows Turner’s progression from newly-elected Royal Academician to one of the country’s most celebrated artists. While his style changed considerably, his virtuoso showmanship remained a dazzling constant. Turner and the Seaexamines the artist’s new and often unexpected response to the prestigious history of European marine painting, as well as the relish with which he competed with other artists of his generation, ultimately leaving them in his wake as he took his work in a new, uninhibited and innovative direction.
Exhibition information for visitors: Venue: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich Dates: 22 November 2013–21 April 2014 Opening times: every day, 10.00–17.00, late opening on Thursdays Visitor enquiries: 020 8312 6565 / www.rmg.co.uk Admission: Charges apply, please see www.rmg.co.uk for details