His sketches and studies are wonderfully painterly, but was he painting what he saw, or what he envisaged?
Evolution from realism to the more painterly. Then in the late 1890s, city landscapes in which the people are the landscape. Remarkable paintings seen in detail.
Knowing when one of Turner’s paintings is narrative can be very tricky. But there are dangers in over-interpretation. Here are some ideas to assist in their reading.
Two people looking at a cross in the middle of a vast canvas filled with lush plains, rising hills, and distant snow-capped peaks. How should we read them?
What are accessories or ‘staffage’, what narrative, and what intrinsic to the reading and style of a landscape?
Some paintings have figures and action which goes beyond staffage, and provides narrative, meaning, or puzzles.