Joseph Mallord William Turner was an English landscape painter who is renowned especially for his dynamic treatment of natural light effects in land and marine subjects. His work is of direct importance in the development of impressionism.The ship remained in service until 1838 when she was decommissioned and towed from Sheerness to Rotherhithe to be broken up. The painting was thought to represent the decline of Britain's naval power. Turner's main concern was to evoke a sense of loss, rather than to give an exact recording of the event. The spectacularly colourful setting of the sun draws a parallel with the passing of the old warship. By contrast the new steam-powered tug is smaller and more prosaic.

Joseph Mallord William Turner:

       The Fighting "Temeraire," Tugged to Her Last Berth to Be Broken Up

Pg. 952 Fig. 26-29


35.25"x 48"

Turner's early paintings were predominantly watercolors and his subjects mostly landscapes

Live Impressions:

Soft clean pastel colors,  yet it does contrast with some dirtier tones. Recessed horizon with the blue horizon line. No real distinction from water and sky. The tug boat look much more "bad" yet still beautiful and the sail boat is almost a dead spirit or ghost arriving at port.

Kent State Ohio

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Required Viewing

  • Jan van Eyck:

Man in a Red Turban.

Potrait of Giovanni Arnolfini.

  • Leonardo da Vinci:

Virgin and Saint Anne.

  • William Hogarth:

The Marriage Contract.

  • Joseph Mallord William Turner:

The Fighting "Temeraire,"