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Turner and Italy – International Exhibition- Edinburgh 26 March-7 June

Mar 1st, 2009 | By | Category: Art & Culture
  neapolitan-water-scene
When the Turner and Italy exhibition travels to Edinburgh it will include a number of additional works. The most significant of them are outstanding oil paintings by Turner, such as his Modern Italy, the Pifferari, from Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, Thomson’s Aeolian Harp from Manchester City Art Galleries, Landscape with river and distant mountains from The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, and Dogana,Venice, from the National Gallery of Art, Washington.  In addition, Turner’s watercolour palette and handmade watercolour box from the Royal Academy in London will be displayed, along with books from Turner’s library, which give an intimate insight into his passion of Italy and its culture.
venice

Approach to Venice 

NATIONAL GALLERY COMPLEX, THE MOUND, EDINBURGH   

The major exhibition this Spring at the National Gallery in Scotland will celebrate the love affair between the artist J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851) and Italy.  Turner and Italy sets out to explore this complex and enduring relationship, and shows how Turner became enchanted by the country’s climate, landscapes, and architecture; drawing inspiration from them, he created some of the greatest images of romantic art.

 The exhibition will include over 100 works, including oil paintings, water colours, sketchbooks, and books from Turner’s library which illustrates his fascination with Italy.  Spectacular loans from collections in Washington, Philadelphia, Melbourne, Paris and London will feature in the exhibition.  It has been created by the National Gallery of Scotland and will travel on an international tour to Italy and Hungary; Edinburgh, will, however be the ONLY UK venue.

 Richael Clarke,, Director of the National Gallery of Scotland said “Turner was probably the greatest and most inventive of all landscape painters.  His unique sensitivity to nature’s variety, allied to his astonishing technical facility, mark him out as a truly extraordinary talent who never ceases to amaze us.  This will be the most important Turner show ever mounted by the Galleries and we are looking forward to it enormously.”

 Turner travelled to Italy seven times, and past Exhibitions have considered particular aspects of his Italian work, such as huis love of Venice, but t his is the first to provide a comprehensive overview and consider the impact it had on his British art.  Turner and Italy will also be the most ambitious Turner Exhibition ever shown in Scotland, and will provide an inspiring introduction to his achievement, through what are arguably the artist’s most admired works.

 Highlights will include the artist’s great Rome from the Vatican (Tate Britain) of 1819, a glowing panorama of the city, which shows Raphael painting in the foreground, and late masterpieces, such as his 1844 Approach to Venice (National Gallery of Art, Washington), which the critic John Ruskin considered “the most perfectly beautiful piece of colour of all that I have seen produced by human hands, by any means, or at any period”.

 

 Turner’s journey to Italy were made at a time when such travels could take many weeks.  The onslaught of mass tourism had not yet begun, and he not only delighted in, nut also exploited all he experienced.  As an astute business man, as well as ingenious artist, Turner used Italy to inspire the two most successful aspects of his career in Britain:  the creation of ambitious oil paintings which were exhibited annually to a startled public, and a production of watercolours that were engraved for publications, so spreading his vision far beyond his immediate audience.

 Because Turner’s enthusiasm for Italy was sustained throughout his career, it illustrates all the distinct stages in this stylistic revolution of his work, and the transition he made from early, conventional topographical studies, to the highly charged, emotive, and visionary pictures of his later years.  Together they have created a deeply romantic, potent view of Italy, which has remained popular ever since.

.  Turner and Italy sets out to explore this complex and enduring relationship, and shows how Turner became enchanted by the country’s climate, landscapes, and architecture; drawing inspiration from them, he created some of the greatest images of romantic art.

 The exhibition will include over 100 works, including oil paintings, water colours, sketchbooks, and books from Turner’s library which illustrates his fascination with Italy.  Spectacular loans from collections in Washington, Philadelphia, Melbourne, Paris and London will feature in the exhibition.  It has been created by the National Gallery of Scotland and will travel on an international tour to Italy and Hungary; Edinburgh, will, however be the ONLY UK venue.

 

Michael Clarke,, Director of the National Gallery of Scotland said “Turner was probably the greatest and most inventive of all landscape painters.  His unique sensitivity to nature’s variety, allied to his astonishing technical facility, mark him out as a truly extraordinary talent who never ceases to amaze us.  This will be the most important Turner show ever mounted by the Galleries and we are looking forward to it enormously.”

 

Turner travelled to Italy seven times, and past Exhibitions have considered particular aspects of his Italian work, such as huis love of Venice, but t his is the first to provide a comprehensive overview and consider the impact it had on his British art.  Turner and Italy will also be the most ambitious Turner Exhibition ever shown in Scotland, and will provide an inspiring introduction to his achievement, through what are arguably the artist’s most admired works.

 

Highlights will include the artist’s great Rome from the Vatican (Tate Britain) of 1819, a glowing panorama of the city, which shows Raphael painting in the foreground, and late masterpieces, such as his 1844 Approach to Venice (National Gallery of Art, Washington), which the critic John Ruskin considered “the most perfectly beautiful piece of colour of all that I have seen produced by human hands, by any means, or at any period”.

 

Turner’s journey to Italy were made at a time when such travels could take many weeks.  The onslaught of mass tourism had not yet begun, and he not only delighted in, nut also exploited all he experienced.  As an astute business man, as well as ingenious artist, Turner used Italy to inspire the two most successful aspects of his career in Britain:  the creation of ambitious oil paintings which were exhibited annually to a startled public, and a production of watercolours that were engraved for publications, so spreading his vision far beyond his immediate audience.

 

Because Turner’s enthusiasm for Italy was sustained throughout his career, it illustrates all the distinct stages in this stylistic revolution of his work, and the transition he made from early, conventional topographical studies, to the highly charged, emotive, and visionary pictures of his later years.  Together they have created a deeply romantic, potent view of Italy, which has remained popular ever since.

 

The National Galleries of Scotland will publish the catalogue to accompany the Exhibition, featuring essays by James Hamilton (guest curator), Christopher Baker (deputy director of the National Gallery of Scotland and organiser of the Exhibition), Nicola Moorby (Curator – Tate Britain)  and Jacqueline Ridge (Keeper of Conservation, National Galleries of Scotland). 

For further information and images, please contact the National Galleries of Scotland press office on 0131-624-6325/6247/6314/6332 or Press Info at National Galleries.org

  Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary  15 July to 25 October

 

 


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