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4. January 2020

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  |  22. August 2016

WILLIAM TURNER - A MASTER OF COLOURS

Works of English landscape painter exhibited in Aix-en-Provence

On his journeys across Europe, William Turner (1775–1851) has also visited France, and, undoubtedly, the interplay of colours and light in Provence would still inspire him today. The exhibition titled “Turner et la Couleur” in Aix-en-Provence in the South of France, shows the painter’s development, from figural painting during apprenticeship towards abstract art at an older age, in 120 atmospheric paintings.

When he is 12 years old, William Turner begins to create his first aquarelles, teaching himself how to paint with watercolour. His father, a barber, soon recognizes his son’s great talent. At the age of 15, Turner already is a student at ‘The Royal Academy London’ and at age 27 he is elected member of the Academy, where he teaches perspective drawing during three decades.

Turner is primarily interested in expressing atmosphere in his paintings. Colour is his principle means to further reinforce a desired effect. He uses a lot of white paint, as well as yellow-and-blue and black–and-white mixtures to conjure strong contrasts between light and dark. His particular interest is the light; Turner mixes colours directly on the canvas to make them more radiant. Every time a new colour is discovered, like cobalt blue in 1802 or chrome yellow in 1814, he experiments with it.

Spending most of his time in London, William Turner also regularly travels across Europe to find inspiration for his landscape paintings. During his life, he is often subjected to mockery and criticized for allegedly having strayed too far from traditional realistic and figural art. It is only after his death in 1851 that Turner is finally conceived as a pioneer of Impressionism and abstract art. He bequeathed more than 2000 art pieces to the British Nation.

The exhibition “Turner et la Coleur” will be open to visitors until 18 September 2016 at the Hotel de Caumont, Centre d’Art, in Aix-en-Provence. After a 12.6 million euro restoration, this stately private mansion built in the 18th century now houses the city’s new attractive arts museum.

 

 

 

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