BRLSI Visual Arts - Fish and Ships

11 July 2018


Visitors - £4; Members/students - £2

Permissions: J.M.W. Turner, Sheerness and the Isle of Sheppey: The Junction of the Thames and Medway, ©.National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C

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Dr. Richard Johns: Lecturer in the History of Art University of York

During the first decade of the nineteenth century, as Britain was engaged in a prolonged and bloody war against Napoleonic France, JMW Turner secured his reputation as Britain’s foremost painter of land and sea. While his contemporaries appealed to patriotic audiences, Turner set his creative sights on a different subject, embarking on a close study of the fishing communities of England’s south coast.The result was a series of unconventional, provocative paintings that disoriented and divided the London art world. What did Turner find among these communities and what did it mean to present the anonymous labour and fruits of inshore fishing as the epitome of good taste?