Saturday, January 3, 2015

Fading Down the River... Day 3/349

Walk: Sundance Kabuki, Fillmore hood, T. Joe's (the usual)
Distance: 3 miles

Turner, J. M. W. - The Fighting Téméraire tugged to her last Berth to be broken.jpg
JMW Turner (1775-1851), The Fighting Temeraire, 1838, 36" x 48",  oil on canvas

Ciwt was interested to learn JMW Turner's The Fighting Temeraire is one of the most visited paintings in the National Gallery, London and has been voted the greatest painting in a British art gallery (which includes other British artists as well as famous artists - such as Monet -from all over the world.  There is a beautiful scene in the movie, Mr. Turner, about  the artist viewing the decommissioned Temeraire being towed by a 'modern' steam powered tug to be broken up.  

The National Gallery has this to say about its revered work (click on the blue areas above  and below for more): 

The 98-gun ship 'Temeraire' played a distinguished role in Nelson's victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, after which she was known as the 'Fighting Temeraire'. The ship remained in service until 1838 when she was decommissioned and towed from Sheerness to Rotherhithe to be broken up.
The painting was thought to represent the decline of Britain's naval power. The 'Temeraire' is shown travelling east, away from the sunset, even though Rotherhithe is west of Sheerness, but Turner's main concern was to evoke a sense of loss, rather than to give an exact recording of the event. The spectacularly colourful setting of the sun draws a parallel with the passing of the old warship. By contrast the new steam-powered tug is smaller and more prosaic.
Turner was in his sixties when he painted 'The Fighting Temeraire'. It shows his mastery of painting techniques to suggest sea and sky. Paint laid on thickly is used to render the sun's rays striking the clouds. By contrast, the ship's rigging is meticulously painted.

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