A brush with Mr Turner - Why can't films about artists get the painting right? [An article by Andrew Wilton, chairman of The Turner Trust]
|I read The Guardian a lot. I also read a lot of other online 'papers'. I stumbled upon this essay this morning. It is worth reflection. Prior to this film, I knew very little about J.M.W. Turner, the man. Nor about Turner, the artist. Now, I need to get a glossy book of his works and see if detail was his thing, or whether he just splattered and spluttered the paint across the canvas as Mike Leigh's film led me to believe.|
Last year, or the year before, I was asked if I "believed in climate change". Bit like being asked about God, or if one is a "progressive" or a "conservative". My response to the climate-change challenge (for that is what it was, not simply an innocent query), was that I put my trust in those who work in that field. I have no personal knowledge, but if 99% of the world's scientists with some qualification in a relevant discipline believe that the climate is changing, and that man's impact is causing that change, then that is worth taking seriously.
It is the same with this film, which is an interpretation of a man's life, but presented in a matter which has a massive impact. The film leads me to believe that Turner was a beast who painted like a beast. Now, I have to reassess. The author of this article would appear to have experience and knowledge to backup his claims as to Turner's technique.
If Mike Leigh and his team got this wrong, what else did they get wrong? Perhaps Turner was not a beast at all ...