- The Shipwreck exhibited 1805, 1805
- Joseph Mallord William Turner
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- Oil paint on canvas 170.5 x 241.6 cm
Shipwrecks are the stuff of nightmares as we are stranded far away from home and at the mercy of the primal power of the elements. For this reason they are a common theme of Romantic paintings. Turner had a lifelong passion for the sea. It is unknown whether this work was painted from a scene he witnessed or inspired by a popular poem by William Falconer that was reissued in 1804. The dark tones of this painting is typical of Turner’s early work and provides a striking contrast with the white crests of the waves.
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