Lecture with Barrie Garnham

Turner and the Modern World

Thursday 16th January, 2020

7.00/15 for 7.30pm start – £15.00 including a glass of wine


One of Britain’s greatest artists, Turner lived and worked at the peak of the industrial revolution. Steam replaced sail; machine-power replaced manpower; political and social reforms transformed society.

Many artists ignored these advances but Turner faced up to these new challenges. This lecture runs in conjunction with the exhibition which will be held at Tate Britain from the 28th October 2019 to the 7th March 2020.  The lecture will explain how he updated the language of art to produce revelatory interpretations of modern subjects.

Beginning in the 1790s, when Turner first observed the effects of modern life, the lecture will follow his fascination for new industry and technology through to his famous paintings of steam boats and railway engines of the 1840s. It also looks at his engagement with the Napoleonic War and the other major political events of his lifetime, including the 1832 Reform Act and the campaign against slavery.

Barrie will talk about major works of Turner from around the world, including The Fighting Temeraire 1839 and Rail, Steam and Speed 1844, and talk about what it meant to be a modern artist in his lifetime and present an exciting new perspective on his work and life.


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