After J. M. W. Turner
English, 1775–1851
Engraved by James Tilbitts Willmore
English, 1800–1863
The Fighting Temerare
Steel engraving on paper 
10 3/4 x 14 7/8 inches 
Gift of Mrs. Fenton Davison, 1972.57.19

The Engraver and Mr. Turner

April 2, 2016 - June 12, 2016

Graphics Gallery

During the 19th century, when most people could not embark on a costly trip overseas to see original paintings and sculpture, one way to experience the artist's vision was to look at reproductive prints. These engravings, printed in black and white and on a smaller scale than the original work, were still recognized as being representative of the artist's work, even if never touched by the artist himself. In the case of English artist J. M. W. Turner (1775–1851), many of his paintings were in England (Tate Gallery, London), where they still remain today. While the printed versions do not take the place of seeing the original paintings and watercolors, the works in The Engraver and Mr. Turner demonstrate the creative and inventive enterprise of the engraver, who had to not only reproduce Turner's infamous painting style in precise lines, but had to do it in reverse.