When he became a member of the Royal Academy Schools, Turner was 14 years old and was already known to the public because of his father. William Gayone Turner, barber and wig-maker, was so proud of his son that he would sell his works of art at his shop in Covent Garden. For his first presentation at the Summer Exhibition in 1790, the painter had chosen his first oil on canvas, a turbulent seascape. Fishermen at Sea fascinated for the dramatic light of the moon and the great virtuosity which gave the admirable illusion of the boats floating, suspended by the thrashing waves. In the future, the Master who elevated landscape painting to such a level as to have it compete with historic paintings in terms of value, went on to exhibit his works at the Royal Academy of Art for his entire life, in contention with Constable for the top spot of landscape painters. Turner often took advantage of the inaugural day of his exhibitions to add final touches to his paintings, an opportunity for an enthusiastic public to watch him transform his pieces before their very eyes.
When Art is Adrenalin. In Orbit with Carsten Höller and Anish Kapoor
Climb up the highest sculpture in the United Kingdom and slide down the vertiginous tunnel of the Slide - it’s happening in the East End where the ArcelorMittal Orbit brings back the thrills of the 2012 Olympic Games.
A Journey in a Painting - William Hodges in Tahiti
It was 1772 when the British artist departed with Captain Cook to explore the Pacific. His paintings showed Europeans far-off lands for the first time, rife with exotic dreamscapes and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge.
At the British Museum, a Journey through the History of the Tantra
From India in the Middle Ages to contemporary feminism, tantric philosophy revolutionised both East and West. But what do we really know about it? A gallery of precious objects reveals its secrets across cultures and time.