The Fighting Temeraire by J. M. W. Turner

English romantic artist J. M. W. Turner's oil painting, The Fighting Temeraire, tugged to her last berth to be broken up 1838
The Fighting Temeraire by J. M. W. Turner (1838)

Joseph Mallord William Turner the Fighting Temeraire Painting Analysis

The Slave Ship painting by English Romantic artist J. M. W. Turner c.1840, depiction of nature's power over a typhoon.
The Slave Ship by
J. M. W. Turner (1840)
The Fighting Temeraire by Joseph Mallord William Turner or with its full title name “The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her last berth to be broken up, 1838” is an oil painting on canvas by English Romantic painter. The romantic masterpiece depicts the large warship plaintively over the skillful brushwork, which creates a sense of loss, almost 30 years later of her glorious days in the naval engagement, Trafalgar Battle. There are many depictions of the painter, in which pastel colors are intertwined and reminiscent of a ball of wool. This unique painting style allows him to create a state of chaos over naturality.

Rain, Steam and Speed: The Great Western Railway by English Romantic J. M. W. Turner c.1844, a landscape of industrialization
Rain, Steam and Speed –
The Great Western Railway
by J. M. W. Turner (1844)
The Slave Ship (Slavers Throwing Overboard the Dead and Dying, Typhoon Coming On) and “Rain, Steam and Speed, the Great Western Railway” are quite examples of his disegno, however, the meaningful painting differs from other Joseph Mallord William Turner paintings with its minuscule details. Individual windows where the ship portholes lie, some hanging ropes as detailed guy cables, and boat-painters on the dockyard present themselves in a zoomed picture. The British painter Turner was born during the American Revolutionary War, when the Great Britain could reach every end corner of the world with her superior naval power. In a human lifetime, the Age of Revolution’s great impact of industry changed the order of the world.

J. M. W. Turner's The Fighting Temeraire (1838) painting reveal the details of ship portholes, guy cables and boat-painters.
The Fighting Temeraire Details of
Windows, Guy Cables and Boat-painters
While iron and raw materials became cheaper, stock goods became more affordable as well. The Industrial Revolution was followed by the cultural revolution. Thus, coal and steam power disrupted the era of utilizing nature for heavy works, which led to an extraordinary increase in production along with an exploded middle-class population. As one of the most influential paintings of all time, the sorrowful depiction of this triumphant battleship was an allegory sadly pointing out the beginning of modern-day life via uppermost machine power, and what it buried in the past according to the British master, who was one of the most influential painters of all time.

The Fighting Temeraire Meaning Among J. M. W. Turner Paintings

Portrait of a Sleeping Woman perhaps Mrs Sophia Caroline Booth by J. M. W. Turner c.1840 at her home in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea.
A Sleeping Woman perhaps Mrs Booth
by J. M. W. Turner (1830-1840)
The Fighting Temeraire is unmatchedly unique and attributed the highest value among J. M. W. Turner’s famous paintings. Romantic artwork has been widely found praiseworthy by the art community in its first run, and received many buying offers. However, J. M. William Turner’s devastating masterpiece, which he called “my darling” was never sold, and preserved on the romantic painter’s behalf until December 19th of 1851, the year he died due to cholera at the home of Sophia Caroline Booth in Cheyne Walk Chelsea. For the romantic master, whose art career started at the age of 12 and earned a great fortune, there was no financial pressure on him to sell his “darling.”

The Bay of Baiae, with Apollo and the Sibyl by English Romantic J. M. W. Turner c.1823, depiction of a scene from Greek myths
The Bay of Baiae, with Apollo and
the Sibyl by J. M. W. Turner (1823)
During the years spent near the Thames River, Joseph William Turner usually made small pencil sketches before coloring canvases, and completed them in his creative art studio, which he also utilized as a showroom for his artworks. As one of those preliminary sketches, there exists a superficial portrait attributed to Caroline Booth with rough facial details. The landscapist dominated the early 19th Century art with his light and color. The general public commonly recalls Turner’s landscape paintings via marine life.

Snow Storm: Hannibal and His Army Crossing the Alps c.1812, a historical landscape painting by English J. M. William Turner.
Snow Storm: Hannibal and
His Army Crossing the Alps
by J. M. W. Turner (1812)
However, he occasionally chose Greek myths or historical events as painting subjects, such as “The Bay of Baiae, with Apollo and the Sibyl” and “Snow Storm: Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps.” In spite of choosing a historic or mythical subject in artwork, which corresponds to neoclassical art characteristics, the contrasting color mixture bringing light differs them from true neoclassical paintings on large canvases. The common behavior was depicting contemporary topics on large scale painting surfaces, how they indirectly open themselves to criticism due to Western Classical Art traditions of anterior neoclassical artists.

Who Was Turner Influenced by Before the Fighting Temeraire?

Peace Burial at Sea painting by English Romantic J. M. W. Turner c.1842, a sad commemoration for fellow painter David Wilkie.
Peace, Burial at Sea by
J. M. W. Turner (1842)
The Fighting Temeraire was the masterwork and peak noon of the Romantic artist Turner, who was influenced by Sir David Wilkie paintings earlier, a fellow romantic known as the People’s Painter. “Peace, Burial at Sea” has the aim of commemoration for the Scottish artist, whose genre scenes have been embraced by society nearly as Mallord William Turner’s most famous landscape paintings. During his comeback from the Middle East, the ship sank off the Iberian Peninsula before the Strait of Gibraltar. Although this narrow passage connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea has been a grave for many ships and sailors throughout its history, Wilkie's death pushed romantic landscaper to legendize him with his unique artwork.

Dort or Dordrecht: The Dort packet-boat from Rotterdam becalmed landscape painting by English Romantic J. M. W. Turner c.1818
Dort or Dordrecht:
The Dort Packet-boat from
Rotterdam Becalmed by
J. M. W. Turner (1818)
The darkness in general and black sails attributed to his grief reveal the melancholy mood of the artist after this tragic event. Moreover, he often utilized the emotional bonds he created within the sea vessels. Joseph Mallord Turner colored various masterpieces targeting different types of water vessels, such as “Sunrise, with a Boat between Headlands” and “The Dort.” As the best landscape artist of his age, human-made historic buildings like in Norham Castle on the Tweed (or Norham Castle on the River Tweed), natural sceneries like in “Frosty Morning”, natural beauties like in “Staffa, Fingal’s Cave”, and English villages like in “St. Mawes at the Pilchard Season” were all the painting topics for him. He sometimes even touched the folk tales and imagined reviving the feeling of being in the heart of the storm, while creating the Snow Storm: Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth, “The Shipwreck” and “The Wreck of a Transport Ship (or The Shipwreck of the Minotaur).”

When Did Turner Paint the Fighting Temeraire 1839

Fishermen at Sea, first oil on canvas painting by English Romantic J. M. W. Turner c.1796, known as the Cholmeley Sea Piece.
Fishermen at Sea by
J. M. W. Turner (1796)
The Fighting Temeraire was painted by J. M. W. Turner in 1838 and exhibited in London’s National Gallery of Art in 1839 for the first time. English romantic Turner was at his 64, when was the Fighting Temeraire painted, after almost a year he resigned from the Royal Academy of Arts. He was born in the Covent Garden on April 23, 1775. England’s most famous art school had become a home to the romantic painter for a lifetime, whose works have been exhibited since the age of 15, became an official member at the age of 24, and retired with the title of Professor of Paintings. The Fishermen at Sea was the first oil on canvas work of the artist, and a unique one among Turner’s sea paintings due to its darker tones.

The Ninth Wave by Russian-Armenian marine painter Ivan Aivazovsky c.1850, depiction of a bunch of sailors against great waves
The Ninth Wave by
İvan Aivazovsky (1850)
Welsh landscape painter Richard Wilson was an inspiration source for the English landscaper, who adopted his painting techniques, which can be viewed from the artist’s famous landscapes. Joseph M. W. Turner did not become only the most influential painter in the history of modern art of the United Kingdom, but also left a posthumous mark on the Impressionism art movement. Best landscape painters within the 20th Century, such as Alfred Sisley, Claude Monet, and Pierre Auguste Renoir availed themselves of J. M. W. Turner art style, color and perspective. Thereby, talented landscaper became one of the leading influencers for impressionists and abstract painters. As an artist whose reputation inspired the world even in his own time, Joseph W. Turner also inspired a fellow marine painter Ivan Ayvazovski, who is best known for The Ninth Wave painting.

Who Was the Captain of the Fighting Temeraire at Trafalgar?

The Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805 by English Romantic J. M. W. Turner c.1822-1824, related to the Fighting Temeraire.
The Battle of Trafalgar,
21 October 1805 by
J. M. W. Turner (1822-1824)
The Fighting Temeraire, the most famous Turner painting is a depiction of the 98-gun HMS Temeraire while it was being towed by a steam tug to a small district of south-east London, Rotherhithe, where she reached in the afternoon according to the British Navy Board. The final journey of this veteran war vessel starts from the Sheerness, the mile town of Kent through the glassy waters of Thame River, and concludes as a laid-up ship in its final destination to be scrapped. The three-decker ship built of roundly 5000 oak trees has been armed with 98 breech-loading swivel cannons. It played a crucial role in defending Lord Nelson’s Victory in the Battle of Trafalgar 1805, a naval engagement within the War of the Third Coalition during the Napoleonic Wars.

Portrait of Sir Eliab Harvey c.1806 by English painter Lemuel Francis Abbott, the captain of the Fighting Temeraire.
Portrait of Sir Eliab Harvey by
Lemuel Francis Abbott (1806)
HMS Victory was flagship of the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy commaded by Admiral Horatio Nelson against the allied naval forces of French and Spanish armies. Vice-Admiral Sir Eliab Harvey was the captain of the Fighting Temeraire, the second-rate ship, and the source of pride and joy for Britain. And the press news about its turnover by the Admiralty Court influenced whole nation by the wind of war and patriotism, as well as J. M. W. Turner, who was a 28 years-old young artist during the war. The great battleship not only made his nation a present of triumph, but also marked the beginning of Napoleon Bonaparte’s days of banishment on the Island of Elba. The romantic masterpiece is accepted as the most famous painting in the United Kingdom, and no doubt that it still remains as the source of pride and joy with its revolutionary approach to British landscape painting.

The Fighting Temeraire and other Ships at Trafalgar Battle

The Death of Admiral Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805, oil on canvas by Arthur William Davis c.1807.
The Death of Nelson, 21 October 1805
by Arthur William Davis (1807)
The Fighting Temeraire was the shining star of the maritime warfare within Napoleonic Wars. During the naval battle, Franco-Spanish flet has 33 warships, while The Britons have only 22 including HMS Temeraire, HMS Victory, and the Bucentaure 86-gun class ship of the line, as the main striking forces among the British colonial navy power. Although Admiral Nelson valiantly fought and lost his life due to a fatal gunshot wound from a French mariner on the French Ironclad Redoutable, Britons won a victory thanks to the magnificent warship according to the despatches of Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood.

Admiral Nelson’s coat uniform during the Battle of Trafalgar, related to the J. M. W. Turner's the Fighting Temeraire.
The Fighting Temeraire
Detail of Nelson’s Trafalgar Coat
She withdrew to the coastal waters of Portsmouth county to be repaired and recruit, after being badly damaged and lost hundreds of crew. Although the masts were replaced, the hull was never fully repaired. Nelson’s Trafalgar Coat can be seen in the National Maritime Museum’s “Nelson, Navy, Nation” gallery, while the shot bringing the death of Nelson remains in the collection of Windsor Castle. The round bullet was presented to the Queen Victoria in 1842 by the family of doctor William Beatty, who had made the first medical attention to Captain Nelson. Along with the Second Treaty of Paris 1815, the great warships from both sides became dispensable and retired in the ongoing process of Napoleon’s exile to Elba Island. However, the victorious warship of Trafalgar anchored to the port of Sheerness, and remained in service as a supply ship until the 1820s. She fired a salute for the last time with the intention of celebrating the coronation of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom on June 28. As one of the greatest battleships of all time, the Saucy was built in September 11, 1798. It was finally sentenced to be sold by British Admiralty in 1838 considering the value of decaying timber woods of 40 year old warship.

The Fighting Temeraire Tugged to Her Last Berth to Be Broken Up, 1838

The Fighting Temeraire Lying at Rotherhithe lithograph c.1838 by William Beatson, brother to the shipbreaker John Beatson.
Temeraire Lying at Rotherhithe
by William Beatson (1838)
The Fighting Temeraire was sold to an English wood merchant and shipbreaker John Beatson. He bought the colossal ship in exchange for £5,530 in the Dutch auction that she was exhibited with other twelve ships on August 16 of 1838. After all of its reusable parts including wasps, roundings, yards, and glasses were dispatched, the empty body of the ship which was approximately 2100 tons needed to be dragged by two paddlewheels to Beatson’s dock. The Saucy, as the name her crew gave her, visited the waters of Southwark and Surrey UK before reaching the Beatson’s dock. As an observer, one of the brothers, William Beatson, who was trained in drawing architecture and who would later emigrate to New Zealand, created a lithograph of the warship, which is named “Temeraire Lying at Rotherhithe.”

England: Richmond Hill, on the Prince Regent’s Birthday c.1819, a landscape painting by English Romantic J. M. W. Turner.
England: Richmond Hill,
on the Prince Regent’s Birthday
by J. M. W. Turner (1819)
Considering the all pieces of working equipment of it stripped out, the empty hull was not able to sail along with a crew. The timber merchant employed a marine pilot called William Scott and twenty-five men, which cost him £58. The last sailing journey began on September 4th and took a long two days on the River Thames throughout 55 miles, prior to its harboring at the wharf in Rotherhithe on September 6, 1838. Although container ship Edith Maersk reached its destination of the DP World London Gateway, holds the record of being the biggest ship passed Thames since 19th October of 2014; HMS Temeraire was the biggest warship ever sold by the British Naval Forces.

Sunrise, with a Boat between Headlands c.1840-1845, a maritime oil painting on canvas by English Romantic J. M. W. Turner.
Sunrise, with a Boat between Headlands
by J. M. W. Turner (1840-1845)
Yet she had also held the title of being the largest ship evacuated from the River Thames until 1838. The sale and disposal of her had a great impact on English society including artists regarding the Patriotism wave of the Romanticism Period. Although there remains a scholarly debate on it, William Turner quite unlikely observed the colossal warship while she was being towed to disposal, because he was outside of England according to reliable sources. However, the romantic painter must have seen one of the greatest warships of all time beforehand during one of his Thames walks at the times she had moored.

Norham Castle, on the River Tweed c.1822-1823, a maritime landscape painting by English Romantic artist J. M. W. Turner.
Norham Castle on the Tweed by
J. M. W. Turner (1822-1823)
The Londoner has a great intent on the sea and ocean paintings, atmosphere, weather and climate events, together with the natural effects of light. For many years he had lived across the River Thames, numerous J. M. W. Turner watercolor and oil paintings including the sky falls, ship paintings and waterside pictures have been created, under the roof of the fine art genre named maritime (or marine). As a visual artist, whose artworks have been exhibited for over 40 years, the famous romantic was already at the height of his career when he painted his one and only.

Mr. Turner the Fighting Temeraire Romanticism Style

J. M. W. Turner's The Fighting Temeraire painting reveals the details of three masts with furled sails and golden vat dye.
The Fighting Temeraire Details of
Masts with Furled Sails and Vat Dye
The Fighting Temeraire painting can be accepted as both an official record and a commemoration of the heroic actions of the great ship. Contrary to her realistic structural features, as far as the Romanticism characteristics complied, J. M. W. Turner went beyond the ordinary to protect her nobility by implying metaphors, and creating a more symbolic depiction of the great ship. The three masts are painted firmly in position as they used to be, while the gaff-topsail is properly furled and stretched. Romantic artist also retouched the body color of her. The original black and white vat dye was changed with pure white and gold yellow to attribute her a more beautiful appearance alike an enchantress gliding over the reflective water surface of Thames.

The Fighting Temeraire by J. M. W. Turner, shows the warship and steam tug within a blue triangle covered with white clouds.
The Fighting Temeraire Detail of
Blue Triangle Covered with Clouds
William Turner style sterling brush strokes create a strong contrast between the elusive blue triangle the legendary warship depicted inside and the beautiful sunset sky scene, where the focal point lights the right side of the canvas slightly. J. M. W. Turner style warm color palette allows the enthusiastic artist to utilize his conventional touch for lighting painting. Below the bright yellows and carmines intersect the superficial triangle, a luminous reflection of the battleship and tugboat reveal themselves in a hazy scene. J. M. W. Turner’s painting “The Battle of Trafalgar, as Seen from the Mizen Starboard Shrouds of the Victory” also includes a depiction of the great vessel.

J. M. W. Turner's The Battle of Trafalgar, as Seen from the Mizen Starboard Shrouds of the Victory painting c.1806-1808.
The Battle of Trafalgar, as Seen from
the Mizen Starboard Shrouds of the
Victory by J. M. W. Turner (1806-1808)
In his sense, the English romantic was visually knowledgeable about the structural aspects of her. With the help of his visual memory and current news, William Turner fictionally depicted the scene from the eye of a patriot with the aspects of English Romanticism in art. Contrary to Chiaroscuro lighting regarding Baroque paintings, which Caravaggio adduced great examples like David and Goliath paintings (Madrid, Vienna, Rome), English romantic minimized dark areas in accordance with the nature of Romanticism, excluding Francisco Goya paintings. The inestimable tableau is expressing its realism and shading not through light and shadows, but with reflections and a riot of colors.

Jewish Wedding in Morocco painting by French romantic artist Eugène Delacroix, depicts a post Hebrew marriage scene c.1839
Jewish Wedding in Morocco
by Eugène Delacroix (1839)
That’s why J. M. W. Turner is called one of the painters of light, along with Thomas Kinkade. Similar color riots can be seen in Eugène Delacroix paintings, such as The Death of Sardanapalus, The Battle of Nancy, The Barque of Dante, and The Entry of the Crusaders in Constantinople. The French romantic is known to have once crossed paths with the British fellow, and shared knowledge over the color palettes. The fact that even the darkest painting parts, as in Greece on the Ruins of Missolonghi and Jewish Wedding in Morocco are clearly distinguishable as in daylight and the flamboyant colors used connect the two romantics via tincture, however, their nationalities were different.

The Fighting Temeraire Poem, Thomas Campbell’s Ye Mariners of England

J. M. W. Turner's The Fighting Temeraire painting reveals the first towing tug having a white flag and a Thames River boat.
The Fighting Temeraire Details of
Steam Tug, White Flag
and Thames Boat
The Fighting Temeraire’s great presence makes other sea vessels foreshorten. A small Thames River cruise with some people on the board draws some attention while the triumphant warship slips away its broadside. The rectangular white cloth of the Thames boat, which has a gaff rigged cutter echoes the her white colors that were highly adopted on the bodily parts and sails. Besides them, the white ensign flag raised up to the flagpole of the first steam tug, symbolizes the permanent peace and tranquility that she had reached out, while it is also dramatizing the romantic artwork. The absence of the UK Union Flag was not a coincidence to both William Turner and Scottish poet Thomas Campbell, who ground out the best lyrics of literary art during the Era of Romanticism in English literature, such as “Ye Mariners of England”, “The Soldier’s Dream”, and “Hohenlinden.” As he noted “That guard our native seas!; Whose flag has braved a thousand years; The battle and the breeze!” the heartening lines, which certainly indicate the heroic background of HMS Temeraire in the Battle of Trafalgar. The patriotic and romantic poem of “Ye Mariners of England” was exhibited alongside The Fighting Temeraire ship painting for first time in 1839, in the Royal Academy of Arts, London. The grand image of J. M. W. Turner’s artwork graced the first papers and covers of leading British magazines and newspapers, such as The Spectator, and Fraser’s Magazine for Town and Country.

Etchings and Prints of the Fighting Temeraire Turner Reproductions

The Fighting Temeraire engraving after J. M. W. Turner by James Tibbits Willmore c.1845, correcting location of ship design.
The Fighting Temeraire after Turner
by James Tibbits Willmore (1845)
The Fighting Temeraire has been utilized by various genre artists. Although the romantic masterpiece was never sold, it was loaned in 1844 to Joseph Hogarth, who was a fine art print publisher and seller. In order to create reproductions, Hogarth dealt with engraver James Tibbits Willmore, who had made various metal engravings after J. M. W. Turner paintings. The steel engraving after The Fighting Temeraire has been published in 1845. While the art reproduction has been done by a large set of printmaking techniques, even some reminding relief painting, William Turner was upset when his masterpiece came back to him.

A comparison between J. M. W. Turner's The Fighting Temeraire and James Tibbits Willmore's engraving correcting the painting.
The Fighting Temeraire Details of
Funnel, Pole and Willmore’s Version
Because, J. T. Willmore’s version was correcting an unperceived, but most crucial detail of the romantic artwork, however both later oil painting reproductions and itchings were appropriate to the original. In Willmore’s engraving, it’s obvious that the mast with the white flag relocated before the smoke funnel, alike a long chimney, as it should has been due to the real-life structure of the steam tug. The British master noted that no money nor favor could induce him to lend his Darling again after refusing a personal blank check following a £5,000 buying offer, in 1848. Although some takeover cases were filed for the unique painting by the romantic painter’s relatives after his death, this legal process ended with the entry of the work into the National Art Gallery in 1856, 5 years after the death of the painter.

Where is the Fighting Temeraire National Gallery Room 34

John Constable's most famous oil painting, The Hay Wain c.1821, the romantic landscape depicting the River Stour of England.
The Hay Wain by John Constable (1821)
Fighting Temeraire’s location is currently and permanently the National Gallery of London, where has always been the first place to look for the romantic masterpiece. As one of the most famous paintings in UK created during the Romantic Era, together with John Constable’s The Hay Wain, it was devoted to the English Nation. The oil canvas was one of the five paintings from the Turner Bequest, which was the biggest donation ever made to the artworks of the National Gallery of Art, London.

Dido Building Carthage (or The Rise of the Carthaginian Empire) is an oil painting by English romantic J. M. W. Turner c.1815
Dido Building Carthage
by J. M. W. Turner (1815)
The elegant painting implicatively hangs in the Room 34, by the main entrance of the gallery to Trafalgar Square during exhibitions. The exhibition after his bequest hosted closely 300 pieces of J. M. W. Turner watercolors, oil paintings, and preliminary sketches including William Turner’s Dido Building Carthage (The Rise of the Carthaginian Empire) and Sun Rising through Vapour, together with Landscape with the Marriage of Isaac and Rebecca (The Mill), and Seaport with the Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba by Claude Lorrain.

Seaport with the Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba and its pair c.1648 by Claude Lorrain, the marriage of Isaac and Rebecca.
Seaport with the Embarkation
of the Queen of Sheba by
Claude Lorrain (1648)
The Fighting Temeraire assigned to the Turner’s Bequest remained its permanent home, however, reclaimed by the Tate Britain London several times, including Turner’s Modern World exhibition between 2020-2021. In the years between 1910-1914 and 1960-1961, it was exhibited in the Tate Gallery, additionally half a year in honor of the opening Clore Gallery in 1987. Despite being one of the most famous paintings in the world, it is also one of the most traveled artworks around the world. Thanks to a European tour organized in collaboration with local museums and art communities from Amsterdam, Bern, Paris, Brussels, Liège, and Venice Biennale in 1947-1948, it was widely observed and became the focus of attention. It was even exhibited in Cape Town, traveling to the African continent in 1952.

The Fighting Temeraire Symbolism Over the Industrial Revolution

The British Naval Union Jack used for marine forces, white ensign does not exist in J. M. W. Turner's the Fighting Temeraire.
The British Union Jack
for Naval Forces, White Ensign
The Fighting Temeraire reveals white flags flapping upon her imaginary masts. Among the commercial flags of wreckers and other little boats, there lies an absence of the Union Jack Flag for the glorious ship, which might remind her of glorious history since the ship was no longer a navy property. The romantic painter availed himself of his usual technique reminding abstract painting for creating superficial details, which he aimed to keep at a minimum level, however, the romantic master attached great importance to symbolic images like flags, poles, and masts.

The Oath of the Horatii c.1784 at Louvre, a large oil on canvas painting by French Neoclassical artist Jacques-Louis David.
The Oath of the Horatii by
Jacques-Louis David (1784)
Thus as every painter, who led Romanticism Movement, he minded expressing emotions via the use of color and symbolism more than the perfect drawing of Neoclassicism. Another river boat, which is a towing vehicle was placed forefront. It reveals two heavy paddle wheels and a metallic dark funnel exhaling a fiery smoke combined with copper red, grainy black, and
escalating silver hues. The great artist imaginatively changed the parts of this steam tug. As its structural design permitted, the mast and white flag must have been placed in front of the smokestack and its black smoke. But, William Turner was not literal minded in this case, which he aimed to create another metaphorical and symbolic reference to the Industrial Revolution, when fire, coal and steam power have been predominating the heyday of wind power for sailing vessels, as well as it has been in every area of the industry.

Snow Storm: Steam-boat off a Harbour’s Mouth c.1842 by English romantic artist J. M. W. Turner. A painting of a steam tug.
Snow Storm: Steam-boat
off a Harbour’s Mouth
by J. M. W. Turner (1842)
The Saucy was one of the latter examples of the second-rate ships of the line, built during the golden age of sail ships. According to the romantic painter, the false construction of the prime steam tug was not a mistake to be recorrected, but an example of the representation art. Thus, he got angry when he was able to see some reproduction engravings of his romantic masterpiece. Many art critics including British author, novelist, and illustrator William Makepeace Thackeray, writing under the pen name Michael Angelo Titmarsh Esq. for Fraser’s Magazine, criticized J. M. W. Turner harshly about the design of the steam tug and its irrational being. The famous romantic painter has created numerous canvases with his disegno over the subjects of machine power in modern life, such as railroads, locomotives, and utilitarian steamboats.

Staffa, Fingal’s Cave c.1831 by English romantic J. M. W. Turner, scenery for Lord of the Isles, inspired by Sir Walter Scott
Staffa, Fingal’s Cave by
J. M. W. Turner (1831)
However, its creator’s opinions and approaching to the Industrial Age were not clear. Although 21st Century trends remark that the abstract art can be representational, it was a difficult job to alter reality in order to raise emotional expressions for romantic artists even with their loose brushwork and pathos. In the 19th Century, when Neoclassical disciplines were still alive, various romantic painters took the art community’s licks. The inaccurate
design of the steam tug was one of them. However he approached his other oil works saner, such as Snow Storm: Steam-boat off a Harbour’s Mouth, Staffa, Fingal’s Cave, or Keelmen Heaving in Coals by Moonlight.

The Fighting Temeraire Style and Turner’s Color Palette

J. M. W. Turner's The Fighting Temeraire painting shows a second steam tug behind the warship and a black life buoy forefront
The Fighting Temeraire Details of
Second Steam Tug and Life Buoy
The Fighting Temeraire reveals a perfect match between contrasting colors. The offside one-third of the big canvas is filled with a melancholic sunset revealing its oranges and reds in contrast with the background colored soft white and blues. The overall landscape was made of expressive brush strokes; however the existence of a second towing boat was excessively curtained. As a well-known art critic and polymath from the Victorian Era, John Ruskin points out that the crimson sunrise sky at dawn usually stands for the concept of death in Joseph Turner paintings. Further depictions of this reference can be seen in the following canvases too; “Norham Castle, Sunrise” and “Norham Castle on the Tweed, Sunrise.”

Norham Castle, Sunrise c.1845 by English romantic painter J. M. W. Turner, a memorial landscape from the northern Britain.
Norham Castle, Sunrise by
J. M. W. Turner (1845)
William Turner’s Temeraire and other Thames boats connote some ghostly presences with their light silhouettes, while two steam tugs and a moored buoy reveal more vivid colors buried in dark tones. The black buoy on the lower right corner of the canvas gives out a simple scale for the observer, and creates a three-dimensional depth perception, which is able to cause Stendhal Syndrome. As just in each of Turner’s romantic landscape paintings, The Fighting Temeraire has also been designed to easily immerse the viewer. The brilliant counterbalance of the celestial elements also helps this cause. The wide berth reveals a crescent moon image from the left upper side, which diagonally matches the white sun shaped as a perfect disk. The blazing copper hues veined on a blue sunset sky create duality with the sanguine plume of the black funnel.

J. M. W. Turner's The Fighting Temeraire painting includes an image of a crescent moon matched with a perfect white disk sun.
The Fighting Temeraire Details
of Crescent Moon and White Sun
Both elegiac sunset clouds and the fiery blaze of the initial towing tug upsoar, while fundamental figures colored with bright colors occupy lower places of the canvas. The Sun and Moon together painted sunset skies was a huge passion for the British romantic. However, multiple debates occurred about his altering orientation of the sunset and moon. The Times noted that the great ship would have been dragging to the west considering she has left the port and moved over the River Thames. In this assumption, the sunset with clouds must not have been portrayed in the East behind the Temeraire, but in front of her according to viewers. Depicting the vessel in the wrong direction or altering the location of the white disk sun is another heady romantic reference that contradicts astronomy science.

Small Details in the Fighting Temeraire William Turner Utilized

J. M. W. Turner's oil painting The Fighting Temeraire painting shows a jungle alike naval cemetery full of removed ship masts
The Fighting Temeraire
Detail of Removed Masts
within Naval Cemetery
The Fighting Temeraire’s value according to the art society greatly increased year by year after its creation. It’s known that William Turner was a very famous painter in terms of literature and art. Along with William Makepeace Thackeray’s great aspiration for the great warship, and his poetic licenses; the area below the pale sun makes more sense. It is full of removed masts reminding a jungle or a naval cemetery for water crafts, in other words, “a countless navy that fades away into such a wonderful distance as never was painted before” as William Thackeray described. The chaotic image also contributes to the theme of melancholy, which had been emphasized in every single detail of the romantic painting. The dusk skies recess a nearly triangle shape filled with vivid blue colors, and the
splendor image of Temeraire in front of it creates a transition stage with its ghostling depiction.

Daydream c.1897, with original title Rêverie by Alphonse Mucha (Alfons Mucha) is an Art Nouveau portrait of a beautiful lady.
Daydream by
Alphonse Mucha (1897)
The transition phase aroused on the Thames path starts from the River Thames estuary below the sun, and ends with a cupreous life buoy together with the copper color smoke that represents the small tugboat power. The blazing steel parts of the machine powered vessels contribute to the passing phase with their resonances. HMS Temeraire painting is not only a Romantic Period
commemoration of the last time sailing ship, but also a cognizance of the great impact of the Industrial Revolution on maritime in Britain. Although it is sometimes claimed that the Arts and Crafts movement leading to the Art Nouveau, caused great harm to craftsmanship due to the mechanization of some visual arts, this situation gave a very colorful subject to the romantics. While that technological growth and progress caused an inevitable wind of change, many gifted artists touched the topics like sorrow, mortality and heroism, as well as J. M. W. Turner.

J. M. W. Turner the Fighting Temeraire Books in Academic Aspect

The Fighting Temeraire is not only a Romantic Period painting, but also a symbol that introduces the beginning of the Industrial Age. For that reason, the stunning masterpiece has been subject to various academic research from different fields, including art critics in regards to its painter, movement, use of color, and content. The leading documents can be listed for the favorite painting of UK and the artist who painted the Fighting Temeraire as: Matthew Brennan’s “Wordsworth, Turner, and Romantic Landscape: A Study of the Traditions of the Picturesque and the Sublime” published by Camden House, Columbia, S.C. in 1987; John Gage’s “Color in Turner: Poetry and Truth” published by Frederick A. Praeger, New York in 1969; William Gaunt’s “Turner (Colour Plate Books)” published by Phaidon Press Ltd, Oxford in 1971; and Jack Lindsay’s “J. M. W. Turner: His Life and Work: A Critical Biography” published by Cory, Adams & Mackay in 1966. Moreover, the National Gallery of Art
’s video carousel is far explanatory.

History of the Fighting Temeraire 1839 Painting

Self-Portrait of English romantic painter Joseph Mallord William Turner c.1799, who is best-known for the Fighting Temeraire.
Self-Portrait by
J. M. W. Turner (1799)
The Fighting Temeraire conserved itself very well since J. M. W. Turner used one of the standard oil painting color mixing recipes, instead of experimental and unstable inventions of his own. Compared to the works of art of the previous period, it is sensible to state that the romantic painting is in a very healthy condition in spite of a lightly peeled layer of varnish, thanks to the technical possibilities of the period and its relatively young age, as a historical painting. The large canvas was purified from the adhered dust on its surface by experts in 1945 and was lined in 1963 in order to cover the oil paint from the wearing effects of time and to prolong its life. An experimental study with X-ray photography art without harming the structure of the canvas, revealed another incomplete sea painting the romantic artist had started before The Fighting Temeraire. The dark tones of the foremost tugboat have covered the previous brushstrokes dedicated to be a large scale of sail for once. Reusing painting canvases is a well-known method to avoid expenses for the artists, and familiar behavior pattern to the community of art, who precisely examined Pablo Picasso’s Blue Period paintings, such as The Blue Room, and The Old Guitarist. However, William Turner’s reason seems to be a slight change of mind considering that the romantic master was a well-off artist throughout his life.

Influence of the Fighting Temeraire on Literary and Visual Arts

The Scream c.1893, originally Skrik (Shriek) by Proto-Expressionist Norwegian painter Edvard Munch, is symbolizing anxiety.
The Scream by
Edvard Munch (1893)
The Fighting Temeraire was selected into the list of motifs on banknotes, along with William Turner’s Self-Portrait c.1798-99. The new polymer £20 banknote design of the Bank of England revealed three remarkable images of HMS Temeraire, the first paddle steamer, and the facial features of J. M. W. Turner from his portrayal from the 1799 self-portrait in February 2020. The £20 notes also included an original signature copy of the artist along with his famous quote “Light is therefore colour.” The creation time of the portrayal chosen is not accidental. The Saucy has also been launched in 1798, close to 10 years after French Revolutionary Wars started with The Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789. Together with leading artworks like Picasso’s Guernica, Munch’s The Scream, Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People, or Grant Wood’s American Gothic; The Fighting Temeraire received quite a few pop art references.

J. M. W. Turner's The Fighting Temeraire and London's National Gallery of Art were used in the James Bond movie 007 Skyfall.
The Fighting Temeraire
Detail of Skyfall
Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem
The romantic tableau got used in the twenty-third James Bond movie, 007 Skyfall, implying the reference to the age of Bond and his British root over The Secret Intelligence Service, which is commonly known as MI6. Another popular culture icon has been derived from the famous artwork by Nintendo in 2020. The popular artwork has become the inspiration source for Glowing Painting in the social simulation game, Animal Crossing: New Horizons. In 2009, the glorious warship found its place in Sam Willis’ famous trilogy with the title of The Fighting Temeraire: Legend of Trafalgar (Hearts of Oak Trilogy Vol.1), while the same name of the vessel was also introduced in 2006 by Naomi Novik’s Majesty’s Dragon, as an alternative history fantasy novel.

Facts About the Fighting Temeraire Painting

A Bar at the Folies Bergère c.1882 is Édouard Manet's last major oil on canvas painting depicting a fancy nightclub in Paris.
A Bar at the Folies Bergère
by Édouard Manet (1882)
The Fighting Temeraire has been elected as the most popular painting of the British Nation in a 2005 public survey made by BBC Radio 4 Today programme. It received 118,111 out of 31,892 votes. The poll named “The Greatest Painting in Britain Vote” has been made in the style of The Big Read, The GP Patient Survey, and 100 Greatest Britons. The rest of the 10 most famous paintings in the world of English society have been revealed as; The Hay Wain by John Constable, A Bar at the Folies-Bergère by Édouard Manet, The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck, Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy by David Hockney, Sunflowers by Vincent van Gogh, The Skating Minister by Henry Raeburn, The Last of England by Ford Madox Brown, The Baptism of Christ by Piero della Francesca, and The Rake’s Progress by William Hogarth respectively.

Acrylic painting Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy c.1971 by modernist David Hockney, shows Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell couple.
Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy
by David Hockney (1971)
Besides J. M. W. Turner’s Temeraire 1839 painting, best known for famous English poems Vitaï Lampada and Drake's Drum, the Minister of Information Sir Henry Newbolt also wrote a ballad for the colossal wooden ship; indicating that she will always be remembered in England’s songs. The Fighting Téméraire’s pronunciation resembling a French word is not a coincidence since it’s an adopted word that lexically means bold or reckless. One of the small boats towing the wooden ship was named “Monarch”, which was in the possession of William Watkins Ltd, founded by John Rogers Watkins, as one of the world’s first tugboat companies. However, some sources claim those motorboats were named “London” and “Samson.” It’s an interesting coincidence that another steamtug “Anglia” of the company is famous for having a role as an overlay boat during the obelisk Cleopatra’s Needle transport from Ferrol, Spain to London, England. Along with Monarch and Anglia, all vessel of the corporation served the government during Crimean War, World War 1, and even WW2.

J. M. W. Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire Value and Size

Rome, from Mount Aventine c.1835-1836 is a landscape painting by English romantic J. M. W. Turner, depiction of Italian city.
Rome, from Mount Aventine
by J. M. W. Turner
The Fighting Temeraire original measures are between 35.82 by 48.03 inches (91 cm x 1.22 cm). As such, it is a medium-large scale artwork of its Romanticism period. Yet, it’s possible to find Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire prints in different sizes according to its great inspiration and worldwide popularity. As Los Angeles Times indicated once in 2014, the price of Rome, From Mount Aventine painting of the artist who painted the Fighting Temeraire has reached a great amount of $47.5 million at the Sotheby’s auction in London, however, the auction house had guessed an estimated worth between $23 million and $31 million for the famous art piece, which reveals a depiction of an imaginary panoramic view of the Italian city. For the last time it has been sold at Christie’s auction in 1878, the canvas was commissioned by the famous landscaper’s art patron Hugh Andrew Johnstone Munro. The matchless painting is an invaluable artwork that expresses the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. Referencing other paintings of landscapes by Tuner for comparison only, it is easy to claim that The Fighting Temeraire has an estimated value of more than $100 million undoubtedly in the 2020s.
The Fighting Temeraire by J. M. W. Turner The Fighting Temeraire by J. M. W. Turner Reviewed by Articonog on July 22, 2023 Rating: 5

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.