Claude and Turner
Two works by the 19th-century English painter JMW Turner are hung in this room with two by the 17th-century French landscape painter Claude, in accordance with Turner’s will.
When Turner died in 1851, he left to the National Gallery Dido building Carthage and Sun rising through Vapour on condition that they were hung ‘always between the two pictures painted by Claude’, which he named as 'The Seaport' and 'The Mill'.
The pictures within each pair are very different from one another in subject and mood. Turner may have deliberately chosen to make contrasting works so as to mirror the differences between the two pictures by Claude. By doing so, he could also perhaps avoid the sense that he was merely the earlier master’s work.