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For the first time, the astonishing creative work of J.M.W. Turner was gathered to create an amazing exhibition. The Tate Britain is proud to present Turner late works from 1835 to his death in 1851. These late years were probably the ones in which the artist produced some of the best artwork of his career. So if you are in London, you should definitely go and check this exhibition.

J.M.W. Turner, master of Romantism

Joseph Mallord William Turner was an English Romantic landscape painter, water-colourist, and printmaker. He lived in the 18th century and many considered him as the painter of light and to preface all the Impressionism period that followed. Nobody know for sure when exactly Turner was born. The only written document found was his baptism certificate in which says he was baptized on May 14th 1775.  After several years of self-learning, Turner entered the Royal Academy of Art schools in 1789, when he was 14 years old, and was accepted into the academy a year later. Turner exhibited his first oil painting at the academy in 1796, Fishermen at Sea: a nocturnal moonlit scene of The Needles, which lie off the Isle of Wight. The image of boats in peril contrasts the cold light of the moon with the firelight glow of the fishermen’s lantern.


Turner enjoyed travelling. He did several trips to France and Switzerland in the early 19th Century, In 1802 he studied one year at the Louvre in Paris. He was obsessed with light. For him, light was the revelation of everything. Light was the filter that would allow the artist to see things as they really are, not as they seem to be. What is striking in every single painting of Turner is the contrast between light and shadow and the predominant place that light takes in the scenery.

Turner died in the house of his mistress Sophia Caroline Booth in Cheyne Walk in Chelsea on 19 December 1851, and is said to have uttered the last words “The sun is God”. At his request he was buried in St Paul’s Cathedral, where he lies next to Sir Joshua Reynolds. His last exhibition at the Royal Academy was in 1850.

 Tate Britain, brings back the light for Turner

For several decades, Turner work was kept aside the public and only experts and passionate people from the Romanticism period (like me) would give such importance to the work of J.M.W. Turner. some say that impressionism would have been nothing without Turner. The 19th century Romanticism would not have existed without Turner artwork. The Tate Britain is dedicating an entire exhibition to the painter. It is called the Late Exhibition, as it narrates the late years of the artist until his death.


By gathering as many artworks as possible, some from the UK and others from abroad, it is the biggest and the first art exhibition dedicated to Turner alone. You cannot miss it. The highlights of the exhibition include important pictures as Ancient Rome, Agrippina Landing with the Ashes of Germanicus and Modern Rome – Campo Vaccino, rarely reunited since first exhibited together in 1839; The Wreck Buoy 1849; and magnificent watercolours like Heidelberg: Sunset c.1840 and the seldom-seen Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland c.1837.

Ancient Rome by Turner

Some oil on canvas made during his trip to Switzerland will also be exposed.  Switzerland became a very fashionable destination by the end of the 18th century. There was a complete contemplation of nature by men, especially Mountains. For some practical reasons as well, many people suffering from Tuberculosis and other respiratory diseases would be advised to go to the mountains as the air was dryer and healthier than in the cities.

Goldau, with the Lakeof Zug in the Distance by Turner
The-Blue-Rigi, Sunrise
The-Blue-Rigi, Sunrise by Turner

The Tate also decided to bring in addition to the main artwork, major series including a group of unusual square pictures. You will be able to admire Turner’s innovative techniques.

The exhibition is curated by Sam Smiles, Professor of Art History and Visual Culture, Exeter University, with David Blayney Brown, Manton Curator of British Art 1790–1850, Tate Britain and Amy Concannon, Assistant Curator 1790–1850, Tate Britain.

From 10 September 2014 – 25 January 2015
Tate Britain
United Kingdom

You cannot ignore J.M.W.Turner work as he was probably the biggest painter of his generation and one of the most innovative as well. His painting crossed many lines and gathered several techniques. Some of his master pieces were the base for the Impressionism and Romanticism movements that followed his time. So yes, you can go to London and be taken away by the astonishing universe of J.M.W. Turner.



Info sourced at the Tate Britain official communication material, the Exponaute and wikipedia. All content is copyrighted with no reproduction rights available.