Opening of the exhibition of watercolors by Turner at the National Gallery

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Might as well approach the new year with hope. Irish art lovers missed the annual Turner exhibition at the National Gallery of Ireland in January 2021 due to the pandemic.

In 2022, the gallery’s much-loved Turner watercolors will be on display for the month of January starting today.

National Gallery of Ireland. ” title=”‘Below Arvier’ by JMW Turner at the National Gallery of Ireland. ” class=”card-img”/>
‘Below Arvier’ by JMW Turner at the National Gallery of Ireland.

The highlight of the annual cultural calendar, the paintings have been exhibited every January since 1901, with the exception of 2021.

The 120th exhibition, Turner and Place: Landscapes in Light and Detail scheduled for last year, opens today instead.

With luck and a dose of optimism, this could be the harbinger of a fuller cultural year in 2022 with more gallery visits, more presence in the auction room, more fairs, more opportunities to meet and greet each other. Crossed fingers.

'Dublin from Phoenix Park' by Francis Place.
‘Dublin from Phoenix Park’ by Francis Place.

Turner’s watercolors on display from today are remarkable and range from highly finished work to atmospheric sketches.

In 2022, there’s a lot to look forward to in terms of Turner. JMW Turner: The Sun is God opens in the Beit Wing of the National Gallery next October.

The traveling exhibition of works from the Tate’s collection will showcase over 80 works in a show that explores his fascination with natural forces and the sun, moon and clouds. The exhibition, curated by Turner scholar David Blayney Brown, showcases the artistic innovations of one of the greatest painters of the Romantic period. It will include 25 paintings and an array of watercolours.

In the meantime, back to Turner and Location. Turner’s 31 works will be displayed alongside a group of 19 rare topographical drawings by Francis Place, who visited Ireland in 1698.

The Place views are the earliest known depictions of Drogheda, Dublin, Kilkenny and Waterford within the national collection. This collection was purchased nearly 50 years ago with the Museum’s Shaw fund. This is the first time that the two collections have been presented together and the first time since 1972 that Place’s works will be exhibited as a group.

'Kilkenny Castle and Town from Wind Gap Hill' by Francis Place.
‘Kilkenny Castle and Town from Wind Gap Hill’ by Francis Place.

The Turners were bequeathed to the gallery by the English collector Henry Vaughan (1809-1899) who stipulated that the delicate watercolors be shown annually in January when natural light is lowest. Subsequent generations of art lovers in Ireland have benefited incalculably from Mr. Vaughan’s generosity.

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