Genius and Ambition IV: The Heavy Hitters

Please just go look at the beautiful picture!

Tim Haslett's Blog

Naturally enough the exhibition contains the Royal Academy’s two great heavyweights J.M.W. Turner and John Constable. The Constable is the magnificent a Boat Passing a Lock

Constable 1

He painted the scene again in The Lock

The-Lock-by-John-Constabl-007

The centre of both pictures is dominated by the structure of a lock and the figure of the lock keeper who is releasing the turbulent power of the river. in Passing a Lock, the lock itself and the boat are in a state of chaotic energy in contrast to the rest of the picture and in particular to the calm and poised figure of the lock keeper who controls not only the force of the river but indirectly the force of the thunderstorm that sweeps across the background. It’s a combination of neoclassical ideas of man imposing order in nature with the well-kept fields, the church in the village in the background. It’s even got…

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