Thursday, 30 July 2015

Mini History Blogs: Aquatopia

The above image is J M W Turners Sunrise with Sea Monsters, which, in 2013, I was fortunate enough to see as part of an exhibition entitled Aquatopia at the Tate in St Ives in Cornwall.

Many pieces of art work were on show, some I recognised such as the above mentioned Turner, Katsushika Hokusai, Salvador Dali, Lucian Freud and my favourite piece in the whole gallery was Stanhope Forbes 'Fish Sale on a Cornish Beach.'

I certainly appreciated all the art work there, most I understood, but some I struggled with such as Dali's work and others were not to my taste at all, such as Turners. I stared long and hard at Turners painting, fortunately it was a quiet day and no queue formed behind me, but I could not make out any clear form and was quite confused by it. Interestingly, I read that the interpretations of this painting is the

 'source of much study and open to speculation.' 

The Tate Gallery itself says that the painting is of 'just fish' as the cross hatching at the back may be fishing nets. Others say its paddle boat being eaten by a giant whale as

 "the boat theory is consistent with the interpretation of many of Turner's other later works, as a response to the 'technological changes brought about by the Industrial Revolution."

Phew! It seems I wasn't on my own!

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