1−31 January 2013, Daily 10am-5pm, FREE, Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh.
Broke? Sick? Depressed? January’s bound to become a month to forget – unless art’s your thing. Displaying until the 31st, Edinburgh’s National Gallery promises to brighten up your New Year with its annual Turner exhibition. Thirty-eight works by the 19th-century Romantic artist will hang triumphantly for art followers nationwide to admire, all day long and free of charge.
Turner was a controversial figure in his day, his abstract style criticised by many contemporaries. Today he’s regarded as one of the masters of watercolour landscapes, and British art’s greatest accolade – the Turner Prize – is named in his honour.
From early topographical wash drawings, to vivid sketches of continental Europe – Turner in January spans the career of an artist with a unique ability to capture the atmosphere of a rich geographical range. His impressions of St Mark’s Basilica in Venice and our own Loch Coruisk on Skye are among the stunning backdrops you’ll be able to appreciate in the capital this month.
More than a century ago, these works were donated to the Gallery by distinguished collector Henry Vaughan – on two conditions. First, that the public would never have to pay to see them, and, second, that the pieces would only be displayed during the month of January, so as not to become damaged by their exposure to light. Such terms became a tradition that continues to this day, and Vaughan’s foresight is credited with the watercolours remaining in remarkably fine condition.
You might not be the most sensitive soul in the world, or even in your family – but if art’s glory will ever manifest itself to you, it might just be here.
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