The National Galleries of Scotland hosts an annual exhibition of watercolours by the famous 18th/19th century English artist, J M W Turner. The exhibition – called Turner in January – just ended its 2018 run. My friend Colin and I had a chance to see it the other day, before it closed.
The 38 paintings were a bequest to the Galleries by a collector named Henry Vaughan. He stipulated that they had to be exhibited to the public, free of charge, in January.
Turner, “the painter of light”, belonged to the Romantic movement. Filled with atmospheric washes, his watercolours are colourful, grandiose landscapes and seascapes.
If I’m being honest, Turner’s style doesn’t move me much. However, I can’t deny the man’s genius. Or his place in art history. He raised watercolour painting to an unprecedented level of brilliance and popularity. Every watercolour painter working now owes him a debt for that.
The image above is Turner’s “The Sun of Venice”, one of my favourites.
Visit the National Galleries website for more information about Turner in January.