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Turner’s Whaling Pictures

Metropolitan Museum, New York


‘Turner’s Whaling Pictures’ will be the first exhibition to unite the series of four whaling scenes painted by the great British artist Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851) near the end of his career. The quartet of paintings – comprising The Met’s Whalers (ca. 1845) and its three companions from Tate Britain – were among the last seascapes exhibited by Turner, for whom marine subjects were a creative mainstay. The topic of whaling resonated with some of Turner’s favourite themes: modern maritime labor, Britain’s global naval empire, human ambition and frailty, and the awe-inspiring power of nature termed the Sublime. Read more.

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