Went to the Turner exhibition in Canberra yesterday. His panoramic landscapes are full of themes of awe and redemption, a world filled with deep shadows and ethereal hope. He is forever the master of light and atmosphere. You can almost feel the spray off the breaking waves in a dramatic seascape, or the soft, chilled morning sun over the mountains.
He was carried away by sunrises and moonrises, storms and clouds, like a man tossed about by the strength of his emotions. A Romantic. In many of his paintings, he cannot resolve the material world of people, buildings and ships with the landscape. They often look stolid and out of place. Only in his luminous visions of Venice and his almost abstract, Impressionistic later work are objects and atmosphere in harmony, as if he could only gain peace by concentrating on the elements of art, and white-washing the mundane.