How J.M.W. Turner broke with convention to paint the times in which he lived
One of Britain’s greatest artists, J.M.W. Turner lived and worked at the peak of the industrial revolution. Steam replaced sail; machine-power replaced manpower; political and social reforms transformed society.
Many artists ignored these advances but Turner faced up to these new challenges. This exhibition will show how he updated the language of art to produce revelatory interpretations of modern subjects.
Beginning in the 1790s, when Turner first observed the effects of modern life, the exhibition will follow his fascination for new industry and technology through to his famous paintings of steam boats and railway engines of the 1840s. It also looks at his engagement with the Napoleonic War and the other major political events of his lifetime, including the 1832 Reform Act and the campaign against slavery.
This landmark exhibition will bring together major works by Turner from around the world, including The Fighting Temeraire 1839 and Rain, Steam and Speed 1844. It will explore what it meant to be a modern artist in his lifetime and present an exciting new perspective on his work and life.
Millbank London SW1P 4RG
28 October 2020 – 7 March 2021
020 7887 8008