Friday, April 18, 2014

Burial at Sea

Windsor - 1805

Thames - 1805

Willows - 1805

Thames - c. 1806

vignette - c. 1835

vignette - c. 1835

Venice - c. 1835

Rocky Coast - c. 1825

Rocky Bay - c. 1827

Naples - c. 1828

Tivoli - c. 1835

Peace : Burial at Sea - 1842
One last slender group, one more mere dozen from among the tens of thousands left behind in the studio after the death of J.M.W. Turner in 1851. This is my final deliberate departure (or so I try to believe) from unbridled obsession with Turner's Tate archive.

The Burial at Sea (immediately above) was conceived as a memorial to Turner's friend David Wilkie. It has encouraged critics and the public to trip all over themselves for at least the past century in describing the understated emotional power of "the cool palette and saturated blacks"   but back in 1842 when the piece went on display, critical and public opinion agreed with an opposite view an unfinished mess, most said.