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
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