"Turners paintings cause us to feel, to respond not just intellectually but emotionally, said Daniel Finamore, PEM curator of maritime art and history.
was the most talked about artist of his
was controversial, disturbing, enigmatic, but never ignored.
distinctive style, he
said, "Turner looked to classicism but turned it to his
own style and incorporated elements of impressionism, minimalism and modernism in his
work before they became formal movements.
Organized by the National Maritime Museum
, which is part of the Royal Museums, Greenwich, London, this exhibit establishes the historical and aesthetic conditions that shaped Turners art while chronicling his
humble origins, extraordinary progress and controversial life that made him a singular genius.
is the exhibits only stop in the U.S.
has taken the exhibit in a new direction by adding a final section "Atlantic Crossings" - that shows how Turner influenced American painters like Thomas Moran, James Hamilton, Edwin Frederic Church and James McNeill Whistler.
described Turner as "a constant innovator and doggedly hard worker.
"Artists like this arent made, he
Entering the show, visitors will see "Fishermen at Sea, Turners first exhibited painting which he
displayed at the Royal Academy
in 1796 when he
While working in the tradition of Continental maritime painting, Turner has incorporated the brilliant moonlight and sharply detailed central figures surrounded by darker, roiling waters often found in later scenes.
relative youth, Turner courted public sentiment, Finamore
said, by portraying the beleaguered fisherman "as British Everymen," whose strength and endurance "holds the nation together at a time England was on a collision course with France and Spain.
While "Turner & the Sea offers many high points, the monumental oil painting, "The Battle of Trafalgar, provides a dramatic, visually stunning scene of the Royal Navys decisive victory over the French and Spanish navies in 1805 that changed the direction of the Napoleonic Wars.
The mix of nautical detail from the actual battle and symbolism is astounding.
said the damaged mast implies the death below decks of Admiral Horatio Nelson and the signal flags convey the last word of his
famous injunction, "England expects every man will do his
Depicting Nelsons flagship, HMS Victory, sinking the French Redoubtable, Turner has included hundreds of sailors climbing the rigging and manning the lifeboats in remarkable detail.