Turner was an English Romantic artist who painted landscapes and seascapes, many with historical or literary themes. He became known as “the painter of light” because of his increasing use of brilliant colors. His works include water colors, oil paintings, and engravings. He helped landscape painting gain importance as an art form and was a pioneer in using a more abstract style.
YouTube video - J. M. W. Turner Paintings (6:56 min.)
YouTube video - Anna Calvi, English songwriter and guitarist performs at the Tate Gallery in London inspired by A Wreck With Fishing Boats (3:29 min.)
TUESDAY - Painting of the Week - Fort Vimieux by Turner
Fort Vimieux by Turner
Fort Vimieux is an oil painting by Turner based on a heroic incident which happened in 1805. A British warship stranded off the French coast came under heavy fire both from a group of enemy soldiers and a nearby fort. The ship returned fire and managed to survive and escape. Fort Vimieux is a bold composition with a fiery sunset just to the right of the beached three-masted ship. The overall tone of the sky matches that of the sandy beach, and the clouds are light and no competition for the bright sun. A beached anchor can be seen and a prong of the anchor attracts a shore bird. Many of Turner’s paintings portray more light and atmosphere than detail. It’s easy to see why he was called the “painter of light’.
WEDNESDAY - Turner's innovations
Approach to Venus by Turner
The Fighting Temeraire by Turner
Turner tried to portray light, space, and the forces of nature in his paintings. Through the years, his painting style became more abstract as he tried to capture the atmosphere and emotion of his landscapes. Abstract art was unheard of in Turner’s day, although it became very popular in modern times. Abstract art doesn’t try to paint an object or scene just as it looks. Instead, abstract art explores forms and colors and their relationships.
Rain, Steam, and Speed by Turner
Turner encountered violent criticism as his style became increasingly free and not traditional. In fact, most people and art critics said that Turner was losing his mind and going crazy. Turner did not let all of the criticism stop him from exploring his new way of painting landscapes. Today, art experts know that Turner was being extra creative and expressive with his paintings and certainly was not losing his mind as the people of his time period said. Some of the paintings from this later period in Turner’s life were: Approach to Venus, The Fighting Temeraire, and Rain, Steam, and Speed.
THURSDAY - Turner and Constable
Ulysses Deriding Polyphemus by Turner
Landscape With Boys Fishing by Constable
Turner, like our earlier artist of the week John Constable, was born in southern England in the mid-1770’s. They each were part of the English Romanticism movement in art, which placed importance on nature and the way it could express emotion. Both men became famous landscape painters, and they knew each other, but they had very different personalities and did not particularly like each other. Turner travelled many places and painted a wide range of subjects, whereas Constable concentrated almost solely on his home region in England. Constable showed English landscape at its most beautiful and beckoning. A Turner painting made you feel the wind and feel the sea spray as if you were there. The two painters were different in temperament and technique but were alike in their appreciation for nature.
YouTube video - Turner and Constable – Who was the greater artist? (5:26 min.)
Burning of the House of Lords by Turner
FRIDAY - Turner's Watercolors
Moonrise, La Giudecca, Venice by Turner (watercolor)
Sunset by Turner (watercolor)
Turner is recognized as an exceptional watercolor artist. To create details, he would scrape, blot, and wipe the paint while it was still wet with water or scratch or draw into it when dry. He exhibited several of his watercolors and was one of the founders of English watercolor landscape painting. Turner is appreciated for the originality and expressiveness of both his watercolor and oil landscapes.
YouTube video - First London Showing Turner Watercolors – Stills of some of Turner’s watercolors (2:48 min.)
Conwy Castle by Turner (watercolor)
Arth, on the Lake of Zug. Early Morning by Turner (watercolor)
Arkansas Visual Art Frameworks
VA.6.5.6 Experiment with mixing color in wet and/or dry media to create a desired effect
VA.7.5.2 Examine the styles and historical periods of art throughout time
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