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Wed, 18 Oct


Tresillian Arts Centre

Sublime Seascapes: J.M.W. Turner’s 'Snowstorm'

Why does Turner’s 'Snowstorm – Steamboat off a Harbour’s Mouth' look much more modern than its date (1842)? Professor Read dives into this question and more in his latest art history lecture.

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Sublime Seascapes:   J.M.W. Turner’s 'Snowstorm'
Sublime Seascapes:   J.M.W. Turner’s 'Snowstorm'

Time & Location

18 Oct 2023, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Tresillian Arts Centre, 21 Tyrell St, Nedlands WA 6009, Australia

About the Event

Why does Turner’s Snowstorm – Steamboat off a Harbour’s Mouth look much more modern than its date (1842)?

It is sometimes exciting to concentrate on a prescient work of art to illuminate a much broader set of issues. Right up to James Cameron’s epic movie of The Titanic, violent shipwrecks and ferries to Hell have inspired great works of Western art ranging from Michelangelo’s Last Judgment, Poussin's Return from the Flight into Egypt, Delacroix’s Virgil and Dante, Géricault’s Raft of the Medusa, Winslow Homer's After the Hurricane, Kandinsky’s Study for Composition II to Andres Serrano's Death by Drowning.

This lecture shows how, at the height of the Industrial Revolution, J. M. W. Turner extended the conventions of the sublime first devised for landscape painting to marine painting. The radical mixture of traditional painting and up-to-the-minute reportage in Turner’s painting of a steamship in a storm is also a competition with the advanced syntax of contemporary poetry. Professor Read shows how the painting raises profound issues concerning the relative value of words and images in the battle between Ancients and Moderns for the attention of the rising middle classes.

Richard Read is Emeritus Professor and Senior Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia, Perth. He is widely published and presents art lectures in an engaging and informative way for all audiences.

Hosted by Tresillian Arts Centre.

Image: Snow Storm - Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth, Exh. 1842, Joseph Mallord William Turner


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    This ticket includes lecture and open discussion

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