Turner v. All Comers at Tate Britain


Fireworks off canvas as well as on in new exhibition

Turner v. All Comers at Tate Britain

JMW TURNER'S run-ins with his rivals are among the surprises at the new Tate Britain exhibition, Turner and the Masters, which opens tomorrow, 23 September.

For instance, there was the time Turner upstaged Constable, who had spent years perfecting the innovative use of red on The Opening of Waterloo Bridge.

Come the eve of the exhibition, Turner sneakily added a teasing red-coloured buoy to his own painting, Helvoetsluys, which was hanging nearby.

"He has been in here and fired a gun," said Constable.

"[Turner's] point was to say 'less is more'," explained curator David Solkin.

"His simple addition of a bit of red made Constable's very highly worked piece look overcooked and the repository of too much effort."

As well as the artistic argy-bargy, Turner and the Masters concentrates on the influence of past masters on Turner's work.

To do this, Solkin and his team have put Turner paintings alongside the relevant 'source' material by the likes of Canaletto, Claude Lorrain, Rembrandt and Titian to produce an arresting exhibition that helps reveal Turner's development as an artist.

Turner and the Masters is on at the Tate Britain from 23 September until 31 January 2010.

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