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Fire vs. Water: JMW Turner and John Constable, rivals in landscape. A talk by Dr Amy Concannon curator at Tate Britain

  • The Goods Shed Station Approach Stroud, GL5 3AP United Kingdom (map)
J. M. W. Turner, Caligula’s Palace and Bridge, 1831 © Tate Britain, Photo © Tate CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 (Unported)

J. M. W. Turner, Caligula’s Palace and Bridge, 1831 © Tate Britain, Photo © Tate CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 (Unported)

In 1831 John Constable went head-to-head with the titan of landscape painting, JMW Turner. When hanging the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition that year he gave his own masterpiece prime position, flanking it with two works by Turner.

This was an audacious invitation to the public to compare their work and view them as equals. On the one hand, the risk paid off: the press deemed it a clash of ‘fire and water’. But who would have the last laugh?

This talk will explore the very different lives and personalities of two of Britain’s best-loved landscape painters: Turner, who found fame and fortune at an early age, and Constable, whose career was comparatively slowburning but equally pioneering. It will tell the story of their parallel careers and the explosive moment of overlap in 1831, when the two became rivals.

Dr Amy Concannon is a curator at Tate Britain. She is a specialist in art of the Romantic period, particularly landscape painting and the work of Turner, Constable and William Blake.

£4 from SVA / £5 online, £6 on door

Location changed to the Goods Shed, for a higher audience capacity. Please check our Visit page for more information on this venue.

Advance tickets from SVA: The lowest cost tickets are available from SVA John Street. The office is open Wednesdays-Fridays 9.30am-2.30pm. You can also buy tickets from our cafe on Fridays and Saturdays, and when we are open for evening events. Check the website for events taking place.

Online Advance tickets: Available for some events, see the ticketed events.

On the door tickets: Tickets are available on the door for most our events at SVA. However, to be sure of getting tickets you can buy them in advance from SVA and you will save yourself a bit of money too. 

Earlier Event: May 16
Later Event: May 18
Open Studios 2019