Peace – Burial at Sea (1842) by Joseph Mallord William Turner

Peace - Burial at Sea - Joseph Mallord William Turner - 1842

Artwork Information

TitlePeace - Burial at Sea
ArtistJoseph Mallord William Turner
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions87 x 86.5 cm
Current LocationTate Gallery, London

About Peace - Burial at Sea

The artwork titled “Peace – Burial at Sea” is an oil on canvas created by the illustrious artist Joseph Mallord William Turner in the year 1842. Measuring 87 by 86.5 cm, this piece is housed at the Tate Gallery in London. It exemplifies Turner’s masterful use of light and composition to evoke emotion and narrative.

“Peace – Burial at Sea” depicts a somber maritime scene that is rich in metaphor and melancholy. The painting features a ship in the central foreground, its sails dark and looming, partly shrouded in shadow and emitting a trail of black smoke that billows into the air. This smoke drifts across the composition, becoming entwined with the clouds and the muted tones of the sky, suggesting an interplay between the elements of air and water. The sea itself is rendered in subdued tones, with patches of light reflecting upon the water’s surface, infusing the scene with a sense of calm despite the underlying somber theme.

Other ships can be discerned in the distance, their forms less distinct and enveloped in a fine mist, contributing to the atmospheric quality of the work. The overall mood of the painting is contemplative, evoking a sense of the sublime through the vast expanse of sky and water. Turner’s manipulation of light and color creates a visual metaphor for life and death, with the ship serving as a vessel on its final journey, accompanied by the vast, timeless elements of nature. This piece is emblematic of Turner’s profound ability to convey profound themes through his landscapes and seascapes.

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