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Dawn after the Wreck, c.1841

The rendering Dawn after the wreck by the English artist Joseph Mallord William Turner was painted in 1841 using watercolors, graphite, and gouache on paper. It shows a scene full of sorrow and desolation expressed by the howling dog, as well as by the title of the work.

This marine has a very colorful palette. Both foreground and sky share a yellowish hue. The central line is where the sea meets the sky, and it has shades of deep blue. The contrast with the sky fades away on the right side of the image, for the waves in the foreground mix with the color of the morning sky. The moon is in the upper left corner. It is only a thin line in the sky, but it gains strength with its reflection which Turner added to the sea.

There is no sign of the wrecked boat or ship. The dog is somehow the only reference to this happening, for its figure and loneliness in the composition express despair. It is the darkest element in the painting, and it contradicts the mesmerizing marine landscape in which it stands. The contrast between the subject and the beauty with which Turner depicted it, is very poetic.

On the left side of the composition, Turner added a shade of pink to the clouds, which seem purple. On the upper right corner, the clouds were rendered using shades of orange, which is the complementary color of blue. The result achieved by placing two complementary colors in the same composition is a vibrant effect. The purple line has the same function but in relation to the yellow, which is the dominant color in the work.

Willian Turner is most famous for his renderings of natural phenomena, mainly storms and usually marines. However, his style differs from the one of most Romantic painters. He wanted to communicate the “Sublime” of nature, but he did not think he needed to use realism to achieve that. On the contrary, it is said that he once asked to be tied up to a mast in a boat during a storm, so that he could experience this weather event and all of its aspects. Even though this story might not have happened, it shows well how was Turner’s approach to the renderings of nature. He tried to translate the emotions and feelings that the landscapes provoked in him. To do that he used very expressive brushstrokes and dissolved shapes in his paintings.

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Dawn after the Wreck, c.1841 Joseph Mallord William Turner

Item Number: 18700985 show sizes in cm
Painting Price: $363.99
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