October 17, 2021–February 6, 2022
J. M. W. Turner, Peace – Burial at Sea, Exhibited 1842
Oil on canvas, 34 1/4 x 34 1/8 in.
Tate Britain, London, accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856, N00528
Photo: © Tate, London, 2020

During his lifetime, J. M. W. Turner (1775-1851) witnessed spectacular technological innovations and the industrialization of modern life. As the advances of industry and commerce brought Britain to world power, Turner immortalized these dizzying changes in vivid and dramatic compositions, with skillful brushwork that gave the impression of being wild and uncontrolled. In his last years, he surpassed any other artist by melding his contemporary subjects with a highly innovative style—an accomplishment that established him as one of the founders of modern art.

The exhibition explores Turner’s lifelong interest in the inventions, events, politics, society, culture and science of his time. Drawn from the collections of Tate Britain, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Yale Center for British Art and others, the exhibition features more than 100 key works that explore how Britain’s preeminent landscape painter found new, modern ways to interpret the extraordinary events of his time.