*** artists illustrating boys fashions: Joseph Mallord William Turner

J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851)

Figure 1.--J.M.W. Turner was a passionate abolitionist. He contributing to the British anti-slavery campaigns by dedicated an engraving of his painting 'The Deluge' to a prominent abolitionist, John Joshua Proby (1828). Proby was a British judge, diplomat, Whig politician. and poet whio died in that year. Despote his beliefs, he only painted one work depicting the sdlave trade or slavery -- 'The slkave ship' (1839). It depicts xptive frucns thrown overbioard as hurruicane at sea apporoaches,. Turner ciould have depicted a Riyal Naby anti-slave patrol approaching. Rather he depicted the rath of nature. It vwas apparently inspired by the 'Zong' imcident (1781. The captain of a slave ship inbound to Jamaica, had ordered 132 slaves to be thrown overboard when drinking water was running low so that hevcould make an insurance claim. Captive freicans were not insured aginst natural deths, but they were insured aginst disasters at sea.

Joseph Mallord William Turner was one of the great English masters. He is best known as a romanticist focused primarily on imagined, tempetuous landscape painting. He did superb water colors and was also a noted print maker. His style is often seen as laying the foundation for impresionism. He was not as highly regarded in his day, perhps because realism was more highly regarded at the time. He is now seen as one of the giants of English art. His work is not of great importance for our fashion pages because he did not do many portraits, and tghe portraits he dud did not show case clothing. . An when figures did apper they were not sketched out in detail. One very helpful portrait was King George IV's state visit to Scotland which began the monarchy's attachment to kilts (1822). But many of his highly imaginative landscape have historical references, including his seascapes. Landscape may not be the most fruitful format for romantics, but Turner's lanscpes are not quiet, peasceful mpastoirals. He found ample fodder in his wild, tumultous seascapes. One of his early paintings was 'The Deluge', depicting the Biblical flood. Late in his career, one of his best loved works is 'The Fighting Temeraire' (1839). It marked the demise of the great sail-powered men-of-war that fought the Napoleonic Wars as the RoyaL Navy entered the era of steam power. This was a miliary extension of the industrial Revolution at sea whuch enabled the Royal Navy to dominate the seas into the 20th century. Even more imaginative was 'The slave ship' (1839) (figure 1). Nature is capable of magnifcent displays, but none quite like Turner's images. Turner was an ardent abolitionist, but this is his only work touching on slavery. A rare pieces in art history. He is the only great master who touched on slavery. Perhaps because of his focus in landscape, he choise the main actor to be be a hurricane (typhoon) rather than the British Royl Nvy that was hunting down slavers to end the slave trade.


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Created: 7:54 PM 8/20/2022
Updfated: 7:54 PM 8/20/2022