Thursday, October 04, 2012

Turner Exhibition

Six months or so ago I went to a “Behind The Scenes” tour and chat with the art conservators at Cardiff Museum. It was interesting to see inside their studio and to learn how they worked. On an easel, being restored, was a painting by J.M.W. Turner. It was quite small and didn’t have a security tag. It would have fitted under my coat and I’m a fast runner.* It was tempting.

The conservator giving the tour explained that part of the work they had been doing was examining the painting to prove its authenticity, as there had been some debate over it and it had been pronounced a fake. Now that it had been verified they were restoring it ready for exhibition.

This came back to me when an episode of a BBC series entitled “Fake or Fortune” was screened earlier this week. Cardiff Museum have seven paintings by Turner and a few of them in particular had been written off as fakes. However, the investigation proved they were all authentic. You can watch the episode on BBC iPlayer here until 7th October (though possibly only in the UK).

The Museum has now arranged a small exhibition of all seven oil paintings and a small number of watercolours. Also on display is some of the correspondence regarding the original doubts over the authenticity of the paintings. More information is here.

It’s well worth a visit if you have the opportunity, if only to see a small collection of rather beautiful works by J.M.W. Turner.

* Actually, I haven't run since I was twelve.

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