Turner and Old masters

J. W. Turner. Buttermere Lake in Rain. Circa 1797−1798. Oil on canvas

A young and unknown English artist Joseph William Turner (1775−1851) opened the first exhibition of his works in Royal Academy in 1797. Having noted the real talent of the young painter one of expert academicians paid attention on reflexes of light in Turner’s moon landscapes. They reminded reflexes of fire in Rembrandt’s picture Rest on the Way to Egypt. “I do not know how Rembrandt achieved this effect, −answered the 22-year-old artist. − but I can paint light even better”.

Turner is famous as one of the brightest and original landscape painters of the 19th century. However only few people know that all his life he strongly followed the example of Old masters, trying to catch up and even to surpass them in art of depiction of reality. While copying Titian, Rubens and Poussin’s masterpieces he studied them carefully adopting all the best points and reproducing them in its own works. Rubens’s texture, Rembrandt’s light and Lorrain’s perspective were combined in Turner’s creativity and reflected in the refined landscapes which became one of the brightest pages in the history of English art.

Today the curators of Tate gallery are going to show all sides of interrelations of Turner and Old masters. The unique exhibition will be opened on September, 21, 2009. It will represent the best works by the British landscape painter among world famous pictures by Rembrandt, Rubens, Poussin and many others. The exposition will feature more than 100 classic masterpieces provided by private and state collections from every corner of the globe.

According to the director of Tate gallery Stephen Deuchart the exhibition will be organized on a principle of analogies. Turner’s rural landscape Crossing the Brook is displayed near its “prototype” − Claude Lorrain’s genre composition Mose Rescued from Water. “I wonder how all these works resemble each other, − Duchart comments, − you can see here that the artist had literally copied the perspective having organized the composition in the same way as well as in a Lorrain’s picture. Even trees on a line of horizon and figures at a middle distance are arranged absolutely in the same way”.

“Turner and Old masters” will be opened in autumn next year and will be exposed in four Tate galleries in London, Liverpool and Sent Ives.
The exhibition is opened till January 24, 2010.

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Published in: on November 20, 2008 at 9:37 am  Leave a Comment  
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