Mr Turner: the exhibition

J.M.W. Turner, Petworth Park with Lord Egremont and his Dogs. ©Tate

J.M.W. Turner, Petworth Park with Lord Egremont and his Dogs. ©Tate

A new exhibition at Petworth House has been inspired by Mike Leigh’s recent film Mr Turner and celebrates the life and work of the Romantic landscape painter Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851).

View of Petworth House, with the lawn shown in Turner's painting. ©Martin Offer

View of Petworth House, with the lawn shown in Turner’s painting. ©Martin Offer

Turner visited Petworth repeatedly between 1809 and 1837 as the guest of his patron George Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont (1751-1807). He created many pictures in oils and watercolour there. Some of those have always remained at Petworth, while others have returned on loan for this exhibition.

Timothy Spall as Turner in the Old Library at Petworth. ©Simon Mein and Thin Man Films

Timothy Spall as Turner in the Old Library at Petworth. ©Simon Mein and Thin Man Films

Visitors will also be able to see objects owned by Turner, such as his pocket paint book and the large easel thought to be the one depicted in the famous watercolour The Artist and His Admirers. That picture shows a scene in Petworth’s Old Library, which the artist was using as a studio.

Turner's 1827 watercolour The Artist and his Admirers, used as inspiration for the film Mr Turner. ©Tate

Turner’s 1827 watercolour The Artist and his Admirers, used as inspiration for the film Mr Turner. ©Tate

Petworth House was used as one of the locations for the film Mr Turner, starring Timothy Spall as the brilliant but awkward artist.

Set created by Suzie Davis in the Old Library at Petworth. The replica Turner seascapes were created by Charlie Cobb. ©Scott Ramsey

Set created by Suzie Davis in the Old Library at Petworth. The replica Turner seascapes were created by Charlie Cobb. ©Scott Ramsey

The exhibition includes a recreation of Turner’s studio at Petworth, put together by set designer Suzie Davis.

Timothy Spall channelling Turner. ©Simon Mein and Thin Man Films

Timothy Spall channelling Turner. ©Simon Mein and Thin Man Films

Director Mike Leigh said ‘Petworth wrote itself into the film rather than us having to think of possible stately homes; it is such an extraordinary, and rare, and rarified place.’

Portrait of J.M.W. Turner by John Phillip. ©National Portrait Gallery, London

Portrait of J.M.W. Turner by John Phillip. ©National Portrait Gallery, London

The exhibition, which is on until 11 March, was assembled by Andrew Loukes, curator at Petworth, and Dr Jacqueline Riding, research consultant on Mr Turner.

8 Responses to “Mr Turner: the exhibition”

  1. Susan Walter Says:

    I love that picture of Lord Egremont heading out into the park with the stream of dogs behind. I especially like the way that you can see the painting at Petworth and turn around and look out the window at the real scene (minus Lord Egremont of course).

    I’m quite glad I didn’t have Turner as a house guest though. He had some disgusting habits. I remember being told a story about him taking snuff then sneezing all over some delicately bred young woman wearing a sprigged muslin dress. Snuff gives you copious amounts of black snot, which ended up all over the dress. Totally gross.

  2. cinziarobbiano Says:

    love it! absolutely…

  3. Andrew Says:

    The current “late Turner” exhibition at the Tate is well worth a visit before it closes in a week or two.

  4. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Susan, what a choice little Turner anecdote 🙂 I haven’t seen the film yet, but Timothy Spall would seem to be well cast, as he is very good at playing misfits and mavericks.

    Cinzorobbiano, thanks.

    Andrew, thanks for that. Here is a link: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/ey-exhibition-late-turner-painting-set-free

  5. artandarchitecturemainly Says:

    The film may not have been the best film ever, but it was inspirational to use Petworth for some of the filming. Especially the Old Library.

    Now we have Life copying Art copying Life. A new exhibition at Petworth House has been inspired by the film Turner which in turn celebrated the life of the real artist Turner. My mind is swirling!

  6. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    And then we have you commenting on a blog post about an exhibition inspired by a film inspired by Turner’s life 🙂 And me commenting on your comment…

  7. columnist Says:

    I am longing to see the movie; clips (or trailers) have me slightly worried that the dialogue might be slightly difficult to understand, which would be such a pity. However much or whether he actually did mumble his way through an extraordinary life, I want to see and here Mike Leigh’s version. Some recent British dramas have been appalling in the coherence department. Authenticity of accent is all very well, but it would nice to comprehend; you can only imagine those who’s mother language is not English suffer more.

  8. The Devoted Classicist Says:

    As an Attingham student 24 years ago, I remember being taken up to Turner’s studio in the old library. What a treat it was. The film is just now opening here in Memphis and I can hardly wait to see it.

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