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

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Artwork details

Title
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
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
N00551
On display at Tate Britain
Exhibition: Late Turner

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

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