Monday, November 29, 2010

Looking at the Turners in the National Gallery

Looking at the Turners
11" x 17", pencil and coloured pencils in large Moleskine Sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
This is a sketch I did on Friday evening while sat in Room 34 in the National Gallery - which comprises British paintings completed between 1750-1850

The sketch is of people looking at the paintings by JMW Turner - plus a couple of guards who are looking after the paintings in this very large room.  They include:
Turner was of course born a very short distance away in Maiden Lane.  This is inbetween Covent Garden Piazza (where I sketched in the morning - see previous post) and the Strand.
Turner was born near Covent Garden in London and entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1789. His earliest works form part of the 18th-century topographical tradition. He was soon inspired by 17th-century Dutch artists such as Willem van der Velde, and by the Italianate landscapes of Claude and Richard Wilson.

He exhibited watercolours at the Royal Academy from 1790, and oils from 1796. In 1840 he met the critic John Ruskin, who became the great champion of his work.
Turner became interested in contemporary technology, as can be seen from 'The Fighting Temeraire' and 'Rain, Steam and Speed'. At the time his free, expressive treatment of these subjects was criticised, but it is now widely appreciated.
The bulk of his work - which was bequeathed to the nation on his death - is looked after by Tate Britain.  However a few of the most famous paintings hang in the National Gallery - and this room forms part of my high speed tour of the National Gallery for visitors to London.

Room 34 also contains paintings by John Constable, Gainsborough and Reynolds.  Click the link to read more about it.



  1. I'm mesmerized by the way you applied your color to this sketch, it has a very painterly feel.

  2. Thanks Margo - it's a comment which has been made before.

    I guess it's maybe because I make deliberate use of optical mixing and mix colours on the paper.

  3. I love coming over to see what you're sketching and where! Glad you have been getting out and giving us something pleasurable to view. I read your post about the artist who lost her home, but found her sketchbooks...what a thought!

  4. Your sketches are always so fascinating. I love their soft and mysterious quality :0)

  5. Discovered your blog by the Urban Sketches site. I followed you and will come back and enjoy more. Now I have to go shovel (snow). lol. I'm a new artist myself. :)

  6. Thanks!

    You may also find my blog Making A Mark to be helpful - it has lots of tips and links to lots of tips! :)

  7. I love how calming your sketches are. Lovely work.

  8. very nice sketch Katherine. Turner is a favorite of mine. A very intereting fellow.


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