↓↓ Contemporary art articles - older art articles →→Page one|Artists abc |Read about| See exhibitons|The museums|The channel | German Art Archives


Turner, Joseph Mallord William - Metropolitan Museum of Art New York

Turner’s Whaling Pictures

This focus exhibition (10.05.2016 - 07.08.2016) will be the first to unite the series of four whaling scenes painted by the great British Romantic artist

near the end of his career. The paintings—the Metropolitan Museum’s Whalers, Tate Britain’s canvas of the same title, and Tate Britain’s Hurrah! for the Whaler Erebus! Another Fish! and Whalers (Boiling Blubber) Entangled in Flaw Ice, Endeavouring to Extricate Themselves—were among the last seascapes exhibited by Turner, for whom marine subjects were a lifelong source of creative inspiration and worldly success. Shown at the Royal Academy in London in two successive years, 1845 and 1846, the whaling canvases confounded critics with their “tumultuous surges” of brushwork and color, which threatened to obscure the motif; yet the pictures earned admiration for the brilliance and vitality of their overall effects.
The exhibition will also explore connections between Turner’s whaling scenes and Herman Melville’s epic 1851 novel Moby–Dick. It is not certain that Melville saw the paintings when he first visited London in 1849, but he was unquestionably aware of them. Aspects of Melville’s prose bear a striking kinship to Turner’s style and to the criticism that it incited.
In addition to the four paintings that will be on view, a selection of related watercolors, books, and wall quotes will also be displayed and will offer insight into Turner’s paintings and their possible relationship with Melville’s text. Though modest in size, the exhibition will give viewers an opportunity to engage with the output of two great 19th–century artists, and to assess for themselves whether the British painter inspired one of the crowning achievements of American literature. (Text: MET Museum New York)