Joseph Mallord William Turner, Depositing of John Bellini’s Three Pictures in La Chiesa Redentore, Venice, 1841, Oil on canvas, 29 x 45 1/2 inches, Paul G. Allen Family Collection.

Seeing Nature: Joseph Mallord William Turner

With less than a month left to experience Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection, we’ll be posting essay excerpts from the exhibition catalog written by Portland Art Museum curators.

Depositing of John Bellini’s Three Pictures in La Chiesa Rendentore, Joseph Mallord William Turner
By Dawson Carr, Curator of European Art

Turner’s evocation of Venetian light and atmosphere give the scene a nostalgic mood in keeping with the subject. The shadows across the foreground anchor an evanescent composition. A haze of golden light and atmosphere blankets the scene, dampening color and the definition of form, with the blue of the sky breaking through only at the very top. The buildings seem to float in a luminous union of water and sky that so beguiled the artist over decades.