For the first time in a century, two ground-breaking paintings by Turner are coming home for a special exhibition.
The pair – 'Harbour of Dieppe: Changement de Domicile' and 'Cologne, the Arrival of a Packet-Boat: Evening' – left Britain for New York in 1914, when they were acquired by the American industrialist Henry Clay Frick, and where they have remained masterpieces of the Frick Collection since.
Turner was famous for being an artist traveller – he toured Europe every year, voraciously filling his sketchbook with studies of continental cities, despite the often-arduous journeys it took to get there. He painted the Frick works in his London studio following trips to France and Germany in the early 1820s.
Showing the busy harbours of Dieppe and Cologne – the gateways of two major tours of Europe – the Frick paintings demonstrate Turner’s life-long fascination with the subject of ports and harbours as dynamic, transitional places, as well as his radical approach to colour, light and brushwork.
When the paintings were first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1825 and 1826 respectively, both critics and the public alike were shocked by the golden sunlight which beams from the monumental canvases.
Two centuries later, the paintings still dazzle. Bringing them to a new generation, this exhibition presents the unique opportunity to view the pair under the same roof as the Claude paintings which may have directly inspired them, as well as other much-loved works by Turner from the National Gallery Collection.