Joseph Mallord William Turner
The Quiet Ruin, Cattle in Water; A Sketch, Evening ?exhibited 1809

Artwork details

The Quiet Ruin, Cattle in Water; A Sketch, Evening
Date ?exhibited 1809
Medium Oil paint on wood
Dimensions Support: 612 x 765 mm
frame: 930 x 1085 x 125 mm
No information available

Display caption

Turner's early career coincided with the long wars between Britain and France (1793-1815). Travel to the Continent became almost impossible, so attention was turned to the British landscape and architectural heritage. The war meant that paintings such as this, of quiet rural British scenes, provided a focus for patriotic feeling.

Like other artists, Turner drew on the newly-developed aesthetic theory of the Picturesque, which emphasised the pleasure of roughness and variety in nature or old buildings. Popular publications by antiquarians also led to a greater appreciation of ruins.

September 2004

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