Turner and the Elements

Edited by Ortrud Westheider and Michael Philipp

Edited by Ortrud Westheider and Michael Philipp

Distributed for Hirmer Publishers

256 pages | 150 color plates, 10 halftones | 9 x 11 | © 2011
Cloth $49.95 ISBN: 9783777440019 Published August 2011 For sale in North America and Japan only

A painter of the elements, J. M. W. Turner depicted in his landscapes natural forces such as wind, fire, and water with an emphasis on their considerable destructive power and man’s raw vulnerability in the face of it. And be they storm scenes, avalanches, or disasters at sea, Turner’s oil paintings and watercolors were also informed by contemporary research in the natural sciences.
 
Conceived by the Bucerius Kunst Forum in Hamburg and edited by leading Turner experts, this volume comprises eighty-five masterpieces from the Tate Gallery in London that are also scheduled for the National Museum in Krakow and the UK’s newly opened Turner Contemporary. The works presented here exemplify Turner’s extensive knowledge of nature and the impact of its forces, garnered from a lifelong fascination, and show that important developments in the artist’s technique over the course of several decades mirrored the many new scientific insights of the time. Especially significant is Turner’s stunningly realistic depiction of light, which made many of his canvases seem to actually glow.
 
With 150 lush, full-color illustrations, this volume shows how Turner’s ever-deepening understanding of the natural world—and of light in particular—earned him his place in the pantheon of great European artists.

Contents
Foreword
Preface
Turner and the Four Classical Elements
      Ortrud Westheider
The Whole and Its Parts: Visual Depictions of the Four Elements from the Middle Ages to the Eighteenth Century
      Michael Philipp
Fire, Water, Air and Earth: Turner as a Painter of the Elements
      Inés Richter-Musso
“Earth’s humid bubbles”: Turner and the New Understanding of Nature 1800 – 1850
      James Hamilton
The Fusion of the Elements in Turner’s Painting
      Monika Wagner
“Water, the Image of the Mind”: Turner’s Artistic Metaphors
      Barry Venning

Catalogue of Exhibited Works
      Inés Richter-Musso with a contribution by Jan Piggott
Earth
Water
Air
Fire
Fusion

Turner and His Times: A Chronological Table
      Eva Hausdorf
Selected Bibliography
Contributors
Photo Credits
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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