JMW Turner inspiration in Sea


Hello, I am currently writing my art essay for university and could not find a single source of inspiration why Joseph William Turner was inspired by the sea…

I am using “Snow Storm – Steamboat in Harbours mouth.”

What triggered him to create the scenery of the sea? How was he affected by it? What inspired him to create this brutal scenery and why?

If somebody could help me I would really appreciate it.

Thank you!

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, max111 1 year 1 Answer 177 views Starting Member 0

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Answer ( 1 )

  1. Welcome to the forum!

    I asked an art historian if she had any advice about this matter. She wrote:

    It is sometimes said that Turner was a kind of precursor to the Impressionists, who were also fascinated by water and the effect of light on water. Here there is both water and storm, and it is not as much light as the movement we get – it looks as if the picture is heading towards something modern, but in reality the answer is probably that you should look at the development of his painting, and how he works his way to something that seems ‘wilder’ and ‘wilder’. In any case, he painted both more conventionally (to those who wanted it) and more experimentally, and more or less simultaneously.

    The questioner sounds like not having read his sources. The answer is not straightforward, and if it is a university student, then he must find the different interpretations of Turner’s life and works – also to the questions that he has – instead of believing that he can easily find out about this. I.e. where was Turner, mentally and physically, when he painted the work and how did the work develop? How he was “affected by it” requires source studies if Turner has written about it, and otherwise interpretations from scholars. “Brutal scenery” is also an interpretation – can you say of nature that it is brutal?

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