Turner: Travels, Light and Landscape
14 February – 1 June 2014
Free to all
An exhibition of National Museums Liverpool's outstanding collection of works by JMW Turner collection, considered one of the best in the country.
Watercolours, paintings and prints are used to explore how, at at time when landscape painting was considered inferior to historical, Turner came to be one of the leading artists of his generation.
Starting with his early topographical studies of Linlithgow Palace, Wells Cathedral and Whalley Abbey, and encompassing the work he produced while travelling in Europe such as scenes of Basle, Lake Nemi and Venzano, the exhibition spans the full breadth of his career.
What becomes evident is Turner’s interest in the rapid change of the British landscape occurring during his lifetime. The techniques he used to depict light and atmosphere are demonstrably innovative for the period, and illustrate why he is often regarded as a precursor to the Impressionist movement that followed later.
Turner's commercial success is also considered in the display, with two copies of his works, Hackfall and The Fighting Temeraire, being used to examine the cult surrounding the artist and his work.
Dudley, a watercolour once owned by the writer John Ruskin, captures the dramatic intensity of a town in the throes of industrial change. Set against the backdrop of a traditional landscape, symbols of tradition and faith - such as the ruins of Dudley castle - are pictured alongside furnaces, chimneys, boilers and canal boats that represent the modern age.