A radical artist confronts changing times
One of Britain’s greatest artists, J. M. W. Turner (1775–1851) lived and worked at the peak of the industrial revolution, when steam replaced sail, machine power replaced manpower, and wars, political unrest, and social reforms transformed society. “Turner’s Modern World” explores how this artist, more than any of his contemporaries, embraced these changes and developed an innovative painting style to better capture the new world.
This landmark exhibition brings together more than 100 paintings, watercolors, drawings, and sketchbooks by Turner, including Snow Storm: Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps(1812) from Tate Britain, The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, October 16, 1834(1835) from the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the MFA’s own Slave Ship (Slavers Throwing Overboard the Dead and Dying, Typhoon Coming On) (1840). These vivid and dramatic compositions demonstrate Turner’s commitment to depicting the great events and developments of his time, from technological advances to causes such as abolition and political reform.