September 01, 2016

London Tate Britain: Sketching Mr. Turner

It was Valerie's idea to sketch a J.M.W. Turner masterpiece

Tate Britain’s Clore Gallery houses the world’s largest collection of works by J.M.W. Turner (1775–1851), the master landscape and seascape painter of light. On my visit to the Gallery, I came upon Valerie. Unselfconscious and focused, the nine -year-old was studying a single Turner creation, pausing intermittently to paint, scrawl, and scribble using colored pencils to render her own.

Visitors engage with Turner's masterpieces

While Turner, at the end of his life, became increasingly eccentric and isolated, he never stopped loving children. How delightful to meet Miss Valerie sketching one of Mr. Turner’s masterpieces.

The finished sketch

J.M.W. Turner will become the first artist to appear on a British banknote following a nationwide vote to chose a deceased cultural figure to be the face of the new £20 note. The note will feature Turner’s 1799 self-portrait and The Fighting Temeraire, his tribute to the ship that played a key role in Nelson’s victory at the battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

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