Turner Inspired: In the Light of Claude Exhibition Catalogue

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Ian Warrell is Curator of 18th- and 19th-Century British Art at Tate Britain, and is author and collaborator on many books on J.M.W. Turner.


Alan Crookham is Archivist at the National Gallery, London, and author of The National Gallery: An Illustrated History. Philippa Simpson is Touring Exhibitions Manager at the National Maritime Museum, and former Assistant Curator at Tate Britain. Nicola Moorby is a Cataloguer of the Turner Bequest at Tate Britain.

Published to accompany the Turner Inspired: In the Light of Claude exhibition at the National Gallery, London 14 March – 5 June 2012

J.M.W. Turner is perhaps the best-loved English Romantic artist. He became known as 'the painter of light', because of his increasing interest in brilliant colours as the main constituent in his landscapes and seascapes. His works include watercolours, oils and engravings. Claude Lorrain was a vital influence at the heart of Turner’s artistic practice, and remained a profound stimulus from Turner’s formative years until the end of his working life; no other artist of his generation strove so consistently to confront the earlier landscape painter’s achievement and legacy. In the era before the founding of the National Gallery, Turner’s insatiable appetite for Claude’s work can be traced in pictures he encountered in salerooms and in the collections of his aristocratic patrons. Applying what he had learnt to the British countryside, Turner was soon producing views of the Thames Valley that transform it into an idyllic pastoral scene more reminiscent of the Campagna around Rome. Turner’s desire to be considered by posterity alongside Claude in the pairing of two of the canvases he gave to the National Gallery is well known. But, even after he had determined on this clause in his will, he continued to pit himself against Claude, paying homage, even as he continually sought to go beyond the achievements of his master.


View spreads of this book (2 MB PDF)


  • Taking in the View: The Reception of Claude in Early Nineteenth-Century London by Philippa Simpson
  • ‘The Land of Bliss’: Turner’s Pursuit of the Light and Landscapes of Claude by Ian Warrell
  • The Turner Bequest at the National Gallery by Alan Crookham

Plate section:

  • Encountering Claude’s Ideal Landscapes
  • Claude Transplanted to the British Scene
  • Imbibing Claude’s Italy
  • Turner's Modern Landscapes
  • Claude Revived: Turner's Late Series


‘remarkable book’
Souren Melikian, ‘The Loose Ties of Turner and Claude’, New York Times, 20 April 2012

Product Information

Product Code 1032370
ISBN 9781857095371
author Ian Warrell
colour illustrations 100
contributors Crookham, Simpson, Moorby
format Hardback
pages 144
published Feb 2012
publisher National Gallery Company
Dimensions 285 X 285 X 18 mm

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