The Getty Center
Date: Sunday, April 26, 2015
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Location: Getty Center, Museum Lecture Hall
Past Event

This talk explores Turner's relationship with poetry, an art form he admired, studied, and practiced himself. Horace's famous dictum Ut pictura poesis—poetry does what painting does—underlay much of 18th-century thought concerning these arts. Born in 1775, Turner thoroughly absorbed that nexus of ideas. Turner began exhibiting at London's Royal Academy at the age of 15, and was keen to identify with the Academy's professional and aesthetic standards. Shortly afterwards, the Academy allowed exhibitors to supply poetic and other quotations with the titles of their works in exhibition catalogs. Turner made use of this permission all his life, and frequently printed lines of his own verse in association with some of his most important pictures. In addition to the classics of ancient and modern European literature, he brought a love of the moderns, notably Byron, whose Childe Harold's Pilgrimage he often quoted. Turner also made exquisite vignette illustrations for the poetry of Byron, Campbell, Rogers, and Walter Scott.

Andrew Wilton is author of Turner in His Time and Turner and the Sublime, among other books on British art. He has been a curator of prints and drawings at the Yale Center for British Art, assistant keeper of prints and drawings at the British Museum, and curator of of the Turner Collection as well as keeper of the British Collection at the Tate Gallery.

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