Turner is coming to town!

This is an opportunity to see J.M.W. Turner’s paintings.  Sponsored by the Tate Museum (London) and the Paul J. Getty Foundation.

Turner’s paintings don’t leave London very often, per the artist’s wishes.  This summer the Getty Center museum in Los Angeles and De Young Museum in San Franciscoare are holding the exhibit “J. M. W. Turner: Painting Set Free” of over sixty key oil paintings and watercolors. which is the first major exhibition of Turner’s work on the West Coast.

J. M. W. Turner: Painting Set Free will be showing at the De Young Museum in San Francisco from June 20, 2015September 20, 2015. The Curator Lecture: J.M.W. Turner: Painting Set Free, by Esther Bell will be given on Thursday, May 14th!

The film, “Mr. Turner”  won the Palme d’Or at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, for best actor (Timothy Spall).  (Sorry, I can’t watch Timothy Spall and not see Harry Potter’s Wormtail, aka “Scabbers,” Ron’s rat.)

I can’t say I really loved the movie.  Not sure if I liked most of it.  The music was dissonant, characters were strange and unattractive, the story was jumpy.  But, read a better and more balanced review of the film at “The New York Review of Books, ” “Turner at Twilight”  The film is a biopic (a biographical movie) of JMW Turner (1775-1851), Britain’s most famous landscape artist.

If you don’t know much about Turner, it might help if you read the Wikipedia article,  J.M.W. Turner,  before you watch the film.

The best part of seeing the movie for me is that I am now better acquainted with Turner’s art.  I don’t know about you, but to me there are not many British painters that interest me.  In fact, Turner’s name is the only British painter’s name I can remember.

But, Turner’s paintings are beautiful.  Sometimes a bit too romantic or saccharine, for me at first blush, but his later work is interesting, perhaps because it is a bit more in the line of French Impressionism.

 “To Turner, light was the emanation of God’s spirit and this was why he focused the subject matter of his later paintings by leaving out distractions such as solid objects and detail, concentrating on the play of light on water, the radiance of skies and fires. Although these late paintings appear to be ‘impressionistic’ and therefore a forerunner of the French school, Turner was striving for expression of spirituality in the world, rather than responding primarily to optical phenomena.”  J.M.W. Turner

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