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On Loan

J M W Turner (1775-1851)

Fishermen Upon a Lee-Shore in Squally Weather (1802)

Today Turner is usually seen as Britain's greatest artist. He enjoyed success and status in his lifetime and although his more experimental paintings were not always appreciated at the time they are now viewed as innovative forerunners of Impressionism.

Turner was interested in all kinds of landscapes but had a particular love of the sea. This dramatic painting shows the everyday heroism of fishermen struggling to launch their boat against high winds and heavy seas. Today we can enjoy the white paint and vigorous brushstrokes Turner used to capture the power of the waves, but at the time critics disapproved of such effects calling it 'indeterminate and wild' and 'unfinished', one branding it as only an 'admirable sketch'.

Medium oil on canvas
Date 1802
Dimensions 915mm x 1220mm
Acquisition Number SOTAG : 1396
Credit Line Purchased in 1951 through the Chipperfield Bequest Fund