Wednesday, June 03, 2015

J.M.W. Turner at the de Young

The de Young show J.M.W.  Turner: Painting Set Free opens on June 20, 2015 and runs through September 20. The show is evidently the first to focus on Turner's late work, from 1835 to 1850. It will feature a number of extremely famous paintings, including War and Peace, as well as some watercolors recently identified as documenting a fire at the Tower of London.

There is even an operatic tie-in: the show includes "a suite of paintings depicting the classical lovers Dido and Aeneas dating from 1850, the year of his last exhibits at the Royal Academy in London." See Les Troyens and visit this exhibit for a complete artisitc experience!

Full details on the exhibition here. And if you haven't already seen it, now's the time to take in Mike Leigh's wonderful Mr. Turner.


Tom DePlonty said...

Reading at your link - he once had the (wonderful) job title "Professor of Perspective".

Lisa Hirsch said...

Aaaaah, yes.

Anonymous said...

This show has just completed its run at the Getty, so LA people have seen it. It is indeed a magnificent and thought-provoking exhibit. The three Dido and Aeneas paintings are: Mercury reminding Aeneas of his mission (end of Act 4), the Trojan fleet departing Carthage (end of Act 5), and Dido and Aeneas at the grave of Sychaeus (not in Berlioz).

The most interesting point about the way Turner worked is that he apparently painted the background wash of light and fog first, then went back later, even when the painting was already hanging for exhibit, and added over the background the little realistic details that tell the story (people, ships, etc).

Henry Holland said...

I am one of the "LA people" that saw this. It was playing with a great exhibit of WWI propaganda, quite a contrast!

I like Turner's paintings a lot, but I feel that the exhibit had some paintings in it that were less than his best work. The best ones included do look incredible, however, especially the one called The Burning of the House of Lords and Commons which was stunning in person.

As for the movie, I liked it, didn't love it. To be honest, Turner wasn't very interesting to me really. He obsessively painted and did drawings, ate quite a bit and had sex, quite a lot apparently. I felt a good 1/2 hour could have been cut with no loss. Mileage may vary, however.

Lisa Hirsch said...

I think I saw some WWI propaganda in London long ago, not on my most recent trip.

That IS really interesting about his painting method.

I did love Mr. Turner; such a beautiful film and such great acting. I've seen so many Turner paintings (some repeatedly) that I'm okay with this show not being 100% the best. There was a huge and very intense show in DC in 2007 - I think it had 100 or 120 paintings, including the enormous Battle of Trafalgar painting from the Greenwich Maritime Museum. The show was overwhelming, really.