Uxt Task 1 Essay

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I chose to study and analyze J.M.W. Turner’s Slave Ship for this project and found it to be very interesting. Immediately while looking at the piece you get a strong sense of emotion and drama that is being portrayed. There is a lot of depth and warmth in the colors that are used and wide swift brush strokes to create the images. The first image that caught my eye was of waves crashing on the left side of the painting. The white tips of the waves are very noticeable against the softer shades of the ocean. Behind the waves is a ship which is the next part of the painting that drew my attention. The ship seems to be caught in the rough waves of the sea and barely able to keep afloat. There is a glimmer of light from the sun peeking through…show more content…
Turner it is a lot clearer as to why he depicted such an emotional and vivid work of art in Slave Ship. Turner was inspired to paint this piece after reading The History and Abolition of the Slave Trade by Thomas Clarkson. In 1781, the captain of the slave ship “Zong” had ordered 133 slaves to be thrown overboard so that insurance payments could be collected. This event probably inspired Turner to create this artwork. Turner became an advocate for abolishing slavery around the world and even exhibited this painting during an anti-slavery conference (History in an Hour). Common themes that were seen in the Romantic era, which spanned from the end of the eighteenth century to the beginning of the nineteenth century, were naturalism, Gothicism, emotionalism, and exoticism. Salve Ship definitely portrays some, if not all, of these themes. The most obvious used theme would be emotion. Turner is clearly trying to get an emotional response out of his audience with such a dark and dramatic subject matter in this piece or art. It would be very hard not to have high emotions when looking at it. Work of art from the Romantic time period shares many similarities with work that is seen in the modern world and today’s audience can relate greatly to art from that time. There is a strong sense of emotion and erotic response in art in the modern age and people react strongly to that. Art from romanticism brings out the same emotion and response.

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