About the Artist
Turner (1775–1851) made his reputation as a topographical watercolorist, sketching from nature, mainly in pencil. His sketches served as a repository of ideas on which he might draw months or even years afterward. He was determined to raise landscape painting to the level of ideal art, closer in the hierarchy of genres to history painting, and he experimented first in watercolor and then in oils with many new techniques. He exhibited his first watercolor at the Royal Academy in 1790 and his first oil in 1796; thereafter he exhibited nearly every year until his death.
This print of Joseph Mallord William Turner's Keelmen Heaving in Coals by Moonlight (1835) is part of our Masterworks collection of reproductions, specially created using the Gallery's finest quality digital imaging.
Here Turner brings the great force of his romantic genius to a common scene of working-class men at hard labor. Although the subject of the painting is rooted in the grim realities of the Industrial Revolution, in Turner's hands it transcends the specifics of time and place and becomes an image of startling visual poetry.
An almost palpable flood of moonlight breaks through the clouds in a great vault that spans the banks of the channel and illuminates the sky and the water. The heavy impasto of the moon's reflection on the unbroken expanse of water rivals the radiance of the sky, where gradations of light create a powerful, swirling vortex.
- 9.75 x 7.13 inches (print), 11 x 14 inches (matted)
- Matted, ready to frame
- Archival, premium matte paper (acid-free, lignin-free)
- Archival pigment inks