This focus exhibition (10.05.2016 - 07.08.2016) will be the first to unite the series of four whaling scenes painted by the great British Romantic artist
The exhibition will also explore connections between Turner’s whaling scenes and Herman Melville’s epic 1851 novel Moby–Dick. It is not certain that Melville saw the paintings when he first visited London in 1849, but he was unquestionably aware of them. Aspects of Melville’s prose bear a striking kinship to Turner’s style and to the criticism that it incited.
In addition to the four paintings that will be on view, a selection of related watercolors, books, and wall quotes will also be displayed and will offer insight into Turner’s paintings and their possible relationship with Melville’s text. Though modest in size, the exhibition will give viewers an opportunity to engage with the output of two great 19th–century artists, and to assess for themselves whether the British painter inspired one of the crowning achievements of American literature. (Text: MET Museum New York)