Claude And The Classical Dream Essay, Research Paper
In Kathleen Nicholson’s book, Turner’s Classical Landscapes, is an interpretation of Turner’s concepts and ability of landscape painting in contrast to Claude. In particular, chapter six, Nicholson discusses Turner’s artistic career and how it models Claudean classical landscape. Nicholson conveys her opinion on how Turner re-created Claude’s a realm to maintain a balance between homage and revision, between landscape as a tradition and landscape as a modern form of expression. Kathleen Nicholson, in this chapter, takes the reader through many aspects of Turner’s re-creation of Claude’s classical landscape into his own modern form.
Turner understood Claude’s qualities as an artist. He clearly knew the extent to which Claude’s art came from, with extensive study of nature, part by part, and a realization that informed his own process of idealization. Nicholson states, ” Allow he showed proper respect to Poussin, his heart went out to Claude (222)” because Turner saw Claude’s work as the realm of the classical landscape. Many other artists, such as Constable, looked at Claude’s works for inspiration in aspects ranging from the design of rivers to the finish. Other artists continuously copied Claude’s landscape paintings as a basis for representation of their own landscape.
Turner instilled Claude’s work into two compositional formats, a seaport and an inland setting, which he would personalize and update while at the same time leaving no doubt about their source. However, at the beginning of Turner’s career, he believed that Claude’s work was beyond the power of imitation. At first, he followed Poussin’s order and rationality in his 1800 and 1802 Plague pictures. Poussin may have seemed more comprehensible to Turner before being exposed to more of Claude’s paintings. After a visit to the Lourve, Turner’s paintings appeared more and more like Claude’s, especially in the Thames River paintings, where Turner used an air of eternal beauty to counterbalance the changeable effects of English weather.
Nicholson finds Turner’s sketchbook as the example of how Turner’s idealization derives from the kind of exchange between the natural and the imaginary. She states, “His projection of a harmoniously arranged natural environment never subjects to the ravages of time imparted an elegance and breadth to his observation of the real world (223)”. Nicholson finds his sketchbook to be a journey that embarks through imagination and the sensual. The first pages of the book depict a little ship ready for departure. Nicholson notes that in comparison of Claude’s Seaport with the Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba, where Claude seems to beckon one to sail away, Turner elaborates on the ornate design of the classical seaport. Turner appeals more to the enclosed and to what is present to us.
Turner’s work progressed and finally reached Reynolds’s fairyland where myth fully inhabits the landscape in his painting, Mercury and Herse. He begun this painting with the classical forms and qualities of Claude and proceeded to incorporate the myth into the landscape. Turner was crating both story and landscape.