The Reproduction Process

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This watercolor Sunset was painted by Joseph Mallord William Turner, but the year in which it was finished is unknown. It shows a very simple marine landscape, where the sun is the protagonist in this modest scene.

The tendency of Turner’s paintings to approach the Impressionist style, even though he is part of the preceding movement, the Romanticism, is visible in this rendering, for the waves in the sea are only insinuated with changes in the shades of blue. The clouds do not have sharp outlines, just as the seashore transforms itself into sea with a gradient effect.

This painting can very likely be of Turner’s first phase, for he developed his landscapes and marines in beautiful watercolors. Later in his life, he shifted to oil paintings. The techniques he had developed in his works on paper, such as transparency and superpositions of colors, were also applied on the canvas. This was incredibly revolutionary for the time and was received by the critics with good and bad reviews.

This Sunset has its composition divided almost precisely in half. The dark blue Turner used on the sea to form the horizon line contrasts with the clear color of the sky. Such sharp contrast differs from the lack of it in the rest of the composition. The sun is a little to the left of the picture and is already “touching” the waters. The fact that this small bright yellow spot is not centralized gives a sense of movement to the painting. The brushstrokes, which are more apparent in the sky, also assist the construction of such movement.

The color palette is predominantly of clear shades of blue, pink and brown. Near the sun, Turner put some details in red, which make the pink hues in the whole composition more vibrant. The same happens with the dark blue line that marks the division between sky and sea.

Willian Turner was a very sensitive person. It is said that he once asked the carriage which was taking him and the art dealer Woodburn to Turner’s house to stop so that he could admire the setting sun for a few minutes. The painting that came from this contemplation was never sold, even though Woodburn wanted to buy it. He kept the painting till his death, in 1851.

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Sunset Joseph Mallord William Turner

Item Number: 18688876 show sizes in cm
Painting Price: $353.99
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