Book: Turner and the Sea, Christine Riding and Richard Johns

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Christine Riding and Richard Johns, Turner and the Sea (London: Thames & Hudson, 2013), 288 pages, ISBN: 978-0500239056, £35.

This is the first publication to focus on J. M. W. Turner’s lifelong fascination with the sea, from his Royal Academy debut in 1796, Fishermen at Sea, to his iconic maritime subjects of the 1830s and 1840s such as Staffa, Fingal’s Cave. It places Turner and his work firmly in the broader field of maritime painting that flourished in nineteenth-century Britain, France, Germany, Holland, and America.

The majority of the works illustrated here—paintings, watercolors, sketches, sketchbooks, and engravings—are by Turner, but there are also comparative works by some forty other artists including Winslow Homer, James McNeill Whistler, John Constable, Benjamin West, and Gustave Courbet. The book is organized thematically and chronologically, and the subjects range from “Contested Waters,” which examines what was at stake for marine painting during the Napoleonic Wars, to “New Wave,” an exploration of Turner’s international and often surprising legacy for the art of the sea.

Christine Riding is senior curator of paintings and head of the arts department at the National Maritime Museum. Richard Johns is senior lecturer in history of art at the University of York .

The exhibition opens at the National Maritime Museum in November; proposals for the related conference are due by September 6.

Re-posted from http://enfilade18thc.com/2013/09/03/exhibition-turner-and-the-sea/

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