Sunday, November 18, 2007

Juliet and her nurse

May 30, 1980 Turner's painting "Juliet and Her Nurse" sells for $6.4 million. This painting was put up for auction, after passing through 8 previous owners, including Turner himself.

There was an intriguing controversy concerning whether the flaming gold colors were realistically placed within this composition. John Ruskin's response to the controversy, and the controversy itself, demonstrates the extent to which Turner's Romantic concepts of painting were not universally appreciated in the 1830's.

Exhibited at the Royal Academy early in 1836, 'Juliet and her Nurse' became the subject of a vicious attack by the Reverend John Eagles in an article published in 'Blackwood's Magazine' later in the year. Eagles wrote that the picture was 'a strange jumble', but one of his chief complaints was that Turner should have chosen to set this scene from 'Romeo and Juliet' in Venice rather than Verona.

No doubt Turner's decision to place Shakespeare's famous heroine in Venice was influenced by the romantic atmosphere of the city; in the foreground she is seen musing on her new-found love.

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