The exhibition, whilst fairly small was just the right size to enjoy. Often I find larger shows difficult to view as there can be just too much to take in.
I hadn't realised that Turner only painted about 300 oils in his life. So he mainly worked with watercolour and gouache! Looking at some of Turner’s small watercolours I could only marvel at their delicacy. To me the originals looked so fine it was if they were reduced prints!
But one thing that made seeing Mr Turner’s at Petworth so memorable, was seeing the Studio and then popping downstairs to view his work in the Carved Room from the same viewpoint as Turner did himself. These views have hardly changed since the 1820’s!
At this exhibition I found you could easily compare the draughtsmanship, detail and finesse of Turner’s earlier work with the brisk energetic brushwork and use such bright yellows blues and reds he used later in his life.
This got me thinking. Turner was indeed innovative, and later in his career he was financially and socially free to do more as he pleased? Was he affected by a feeling of urgency created by his passing age? Or, perhaps like Monet, his cataracts and his failing eyesight in later life put nature in a different light? But then I had a look at The Red Rigi,(a watercolour in 1842). How was that created if he had doggy eyesight! Has anyone any thoughts on this?