The moment I saw the Late Turner exhibition on Twitter it found a spot on my Autumn To Do list. So when a friend I hadn’t seen for (we worked this out and whimpered) two and a half years asked if anyone wanted to see it with him, I couldn’t respond quickly enough.
After fighting my way through the standard super car traffic of Knightsbridge and taking a couple of expected wrong turns we were finally reunited and headed off to the Tate Britain to see the pretty painting and grab a much needed coffee. Photography isn’t allowed within the exhibition, but I’ve included a few from the Tate website.
Visually, Turner is brilliant. I saw the Turner and the Sea exhibition at the National Gallery earlier in the year, so it was wonderful to experience a concentration of his later works, where he had totally refined and developed his skill, used beautiful, bold colours yet was still experimental.
Naturally I don’t like all of his pieces, in fact I downright dislike some of the less saturated works. His paintings of Venice, Italian mountains and the sea in particular, however, more than make up for this in my opinion (not that I’d complain at all at having any Turner hanging in my house, ever). Some of his watercolours are also on display in the Tate. So beautifully detailed, he does with watercolour paints what I thought would only be done with oils. We couldn’t help but wonder how furious he would have been if he had accidentally splashed or dripped a terrible wrong colour on the painting in its final phases. Me? I’d have cried.
One of the most interesting things about seeing so many Turners so close is that you can really appreciate the level of detail that each painting possesses. His brushstrokes, while seemingly random, are so deliberate and incredible detail is achieved despite the frequent mistiness. His are not works that you can glance at before moving on; the more you look the more you see. Unfortunately we looked at one piece a little too hard and spotted a skull shaped white patch on a lady’s dress. Creepy.
Late Turner is running until 25th January 2015 and tickets are: Adult £16.50 (without donation £15.00) or Concession £14.50 (without donation £13.10)
If you go or have been, let me know what you think!!