Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tuner and the Maters at the Prado

Yet again the Spanish National Musuem in conjunction with Tate Britain has come up with a fascinating proposal for their summer exhibition and on this occasion the featured artist is William Turner. The premise of the show is to present Turner’s development and ambitions as an artist by gathering together some of the best work by the British artist side by the side with the masterpieces of some of the masters that inspired Turner such as Claude Lorraine and Rembrandt. On paper it seems like a simple exercise of comparing and contrasting. However, the way in which Turner’s work is being weighed and judged against the masters that inspired his work casts a shadow over Turner’s own brilliance. Nevertheless, there are works that shine through the exhibition such as “Calais Sand, Lower Water” of 1830, which showcase Turner’s pre-impressionism treatment of light, colour and composition.