Joseph Mallord William Turner The Hero of a Hundred Fights c.1800–10, reworked and exhibited 1847

Artwork details

The Hero of a Hundred Fights
Date c.1800–10, reworked and exhibited 1847
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 908 x 1213 mm
frame: 1275 x 1585 x 180 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Not on display

Display caption

This canvas was originally an exploration of industrial machinery, but it was reworked to show the moment when a bronze statue of the Duke of Wellington was removed from its mould. Using the intense light of the foundry to obscure the figure, Turner transforms Wellington into an ethereal presence. The image is in stark contrast to Turner’s carefully researched battle scenes. Here, tone and colour are employed to endow a national hero with elemental force.

February 2010

About this artwork