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As part or the final block, Arts and Society in an Age of Industrialisation, of the Arts Foundation Course A101, David Thompson examines some of the paintings of John Constable and Joseph Turner to... show these artists responses to Nature and the 'spirit of scientific enquiry' of the age. Beginning with the received opinion of the great differences between these contemporaries as revealed in their best known paintings The Hay Wain and The Fighting Temeraire, David Thompson shows that these well known differences belie many similarities. Turner and Constable represent two contrasting aspects of Romanticism; the most prominent intellectual trend of their age. The programme also considers something of the intellectual development of each artist and their awareness of the major political and even physical upheaval in the fabric of nineteenth century society in England - the Industrial Revolution. The programmes seeks to dispel preconceived notions of the work of the two greatest English artists of their time and to give a new perspective on their range and styles.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: A101, An arts foundation course
Item code: A101; 22
First transmission date: 26-07-1978
Published: 1978
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:25:00
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Producer: Nancy Thomas
Contributor: David Thompson
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): The Fighting Temeraire; The Hay Wain
Subject terms: Painting, British; Constable, John, 1776-1837; Turner, J. M. W. (Joseph Mallord William), 1775-1851
Footage description: The programme opens with a montage of works by Constable and Turner, over which David Thompson reads comments from both artists that refer to painting. To camera Thompson states that Turner and Constable are often considered opposites. Over The Hay Wain and The Finghting Temeraire he presents the traditional opinion of the two artists, which stresses their dissimilarities. Thompson argues that both artists painted natureire in a spiirit of scientific enquiry. Works depicting flora and fauna illustrate his remarks. He maintains that the study of light is central to Turner's work, over examples of the artist's colour diagrams. He argues that Constable studied trees and clouds in a similarly scientific manner, over a variety of examples.Over portraits of Constable and Turner, Thompson provides an insight into the personality of each artist. To camera Thompson briefly outlines the growth of Romanticism in the early 19th century and argues that it took two forms: tempestuous, represented by Turner, and serene, represented by Constable. A number of paintings illustrate his remarks. Over a variety of works Thompson argues that Turner produced works similar to much of Constable's paintings, and vice versa. He maintains that both are primarily Romantic painters. Thompson states that Romanticism was a response to both political upheaval and industrial change. Using examples he shows how both artists depict change in the world around them. He concludes that Constable stresses the continuity and stability of his world, while Turner is more concerned with change and instability. Thompson uses a number of works to show how Constable and Turner represented industrial change. He maintains that Turner was more interested in technological advances than was Constable, and concludes with both painters view of the relationship between Man and Nature.
Master spool number: 6HT/72531
Production number: 00525_3240
Videofinder number: 2613
Available to public: no