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Turner and Constable: Sketching from Nature

Works from the Tate Collection

Sat 13 July 2013, 11.00amSun 22 September 2013, 5.00pm

Compton Verney will premiere this major exhibition which includes approximately 60 works by Turner, Constable and their contemporaries. These works from the Tate collection provide a unique exploration of how the art of oil sketching in the landscape, rather than in the studio, became fashionable in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The exhibition gives an insight into the different approach each artist used for oil sketching, illustrating how different artists approached similar subjects – at a time when oil sketching en plein air was still comparatively unusual.
 The result is an exhibition which introduces visitors to the practice and techniques of sketching, and the often surprising connections that can be drawn between the artists involved. These stimulating comparisons prompt questions about the importance of oil sketching in this period and how finished works were planned, evolved and executed. The oil paintings have been chosen by the curators to represent six principal landscape themes: sketching from nature, the closer view, water, shapes and silhouettes, the  shapes of the landscape, rural nature, looking heavenwards. These themes are explored through the works of Turner and Constable alongside artists such as George Stubbs,  John Linnell, William Henry Hunt, John Sell Cotman, John Crome, Francis Danby, Thomas Jones, George Robert Lewis and Augustus Wall Callcott.

The exhibition is  curated by Emeritus Professor Michael Rosenthal of the University of Warwick, one of the world’s foremost experts on the art of this period, and Anne Lyles who is a leading  authority on the art of John Constable and curated Constable: The Great Landscapes at Tate Britain in 2006.

The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated book, produced by Tate Publishing.

After being shown at Compton Verney, Turner and Constable will be toured to Turner Contemporary in Margate (October 2013 – January 2014) and the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle (January – May 2014).