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Turner: Caligulas Palace and Bridge exhibited  (custom print)
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          Artwork details

          Caligula's Palace and Bridge exhibited 1831, 1831
          Joseph Mallord William Turner
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          Oil paint on canvas 137.2 x 246.4 cm

          The subject of this work is from Suetonius ‘Life’ of the Emperor Caligula. Caliguia, in order to overturn a prophecy that he would ride across the Gulf of Baiae with horses before becoming emperor, constructed a floating bridge of boats in order to cross the bay in a chariot. Caligula's Palace and Bridge received popular reviews in 1831. The Times described it as ‘one of the most beautiful and magnificent landscapes that ever mind conceived or pencil drew’.

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          Artist details

          Joseph Mallord William Turner was born in London; he remained a Londoner and kept a Cockney accent all his life despite dominating British landscape painting throughout the first half of the 19th century. He established a reputation in the Royal Academy, first as a topographical watercolourist and then within a few years as a painter of sublime and historical landscapes. From the mid-1790s he settled on the routine he maintained for much of his life: touring in summer and working in the studio in the winter months. He opened his own gallery and had many patrons and admirers as well as detractors. After his death a large body of his works in oil and watercolour was given to the British nation, with many on show at Tate Britain.

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