detail: J.M.W. Turner, Britain, 1775-1851, Peace – Burial at sea, 1842, oil on canvas; Turner Bequest, Tate Gallery, London


8 February - 19 May 2013

Turner from the Tate offers a once in a life time opportunity to experience the iconic paintings of J.M.W. Turner (1775 – 1851), one of Britain's greatest artists.

Surveying Turner's life work the exhibition is a journey through his ambitions, critical triumphs and controversies, revealing why he is one of the most renowned landscape painters of all time.

Drawn from the finest and most comprehensive collection of his work, the Turner Bequest, held at Tate Britain in London, the exhibition features over 100 works of art including oil paintings and watercolours, some of which have never been previously exhibited.

There is arguably no greater insight into the working techniques of a great artist than the unique collection that is the Turner Bequest, the contents of the studio of J.M.W. Turner, bequeathed to the nation after his death in 1851.

The exhibition provides an intimate overview of Turner’s career as an artist, drawing on the uniquely rich and personal range of material in the bequest. It includes ‘finished’ paintings that Turner exhibited in his lifetime, many of which proved controversial with their first audiences, as well as the revelatory canvases that only came to light after his death, such as Stormy Sea with Dolphins (c.1835–40), or the haunting painting called A Disaster at Sea (c.1835), which records the shipwreck of a convict boat bound for Australia.

Only through this comprehensive collection can audiences travel back in time and join Turner as he drew and painted his way through life, observing his development from a precocious thirteen year old boy to one of the greatest painters of nature’s light, colour and atmosphere.

Turner's poetic interpretation of nature was revolutionary. His ability to capture the atmospheric impression of light instilled his paintings with a sensory command that has transcended time and place.

Turner from the Tate: The Making of a Master is the first major Australian exhibition of Turner’s work in almost twenty years.


Exhibition organised by Tate in association with Art Exhibitions Australia, Art Gallery of South Australia and the National Gallery of Australia.

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detail: J.M.W. Turner, Peace – Burial at Sea, exhibited 1842. Photo: (c) Tate, 2013