Vesuvius in Eruption by Joseph Mallord William Turner

Vesuvius in Eruption

(Vesuv in Eruption)


Joseph Mallord William Turner

1817   ·  Wasserfarbe auf Papier  ·  Picture ID: 14922

Romantic  ·  landscapes  ·  Our favourites

It was the fascination with volcanic eruptions that drove artists to capture these incredible forces of nature on canvas. Geologists laid the foundation for the enthusiasm as early as the 18th century and the eruptions of Mount Vesuvius increased interest. Between 1794 and 1822, the Italian volcano was so active that geology and volcanism became dominant in Europe. Scientists developed a feeling for changes in the climate. Artists were masters in observing nature's processes and were captivated by incorporating the changes in their works.

The English painter Turner moved in circles of scientists and saw in the lavaspeienden outbreaks of mountains not only a scientific aspect. He attributed to the landscape-defining Vesuvius with its force of nature an aesthetic beauty. Turner had visited southern Italy during the period of the painting and made numerous sketches of the landscape. The special play of light and the colors of Italy supported his theories of the power of light. Reaffirmed by the exchange with friends from the leading geology, the English painter devoted himself to the topic of volcanism. He experimented with light color and oil and his notions of eruption.

It was a publishing order that brought the painter of Romanticism to the easel and painted a series of watercolors of Vesuvius. There was a series about the volcano in different phases. The quiet mountain is portrayed as well as the most spectacular work of the series, the explosive eruption.

Bright as lightning shoots the fire from the top of the mountain and dips the smoky sky in a mystical light. Fire tones in ocher and orange set the scene. The painter is an experienced observer and connoisseur of the play of light. It makes the night-black sky shine and the sea a mirror of the heavenly happenings. Turner used a colored black to depict the dark elements of his watercolor. With admixtures of blue and green and an intense application of color, Turner achieves a contrast of light and dark. The mountain is at the center of the scene and is clearly depicted in detail. Atmosphere blurred in almost impressionistic colors, the landscape is captured.

The elaboration of the contrasts creates tension and shows the drama of the eruption of Vesuvius. Completely opposite is the representation of the observers at the bottom of the picture. Respect, but also peace and serenity radiate the figures who look at the bright sky by far. It looks like contemplating fireworks, free from the danger of burning hot lava and rock bombs. The serenity is transferred to the image viewer and the first impression is the beauty of the outbreak.

The well-founded knowledge of lighting conditions and color nuances in nature supported Turner, and so the works were created on the fire-spitting mountain based on the sketches of other artists. In fact, Turner did not experience the eruption himself. However, he was able to make the presentation due to his knowledge and thirst for knowledge.
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02.05.2018
Jürgen K.
Art print on Canvas glossy, 100cm x 72cm, stretched on stretcher. With painting frame .


23.07.2018
Gerald R.
Art print on Canvas glossy, 50cm x 36cm, stretched on stretcher.


15.07.2019
Jürgen G.
Art Print on Photo paper matte/satin, 119cm x 86cm.


15.07.2019
Jürgen G.
Art Print on Photo paper matte/satin, 119cm x 86cm.


29.10.2020
Martin L.
Art Print on FineArt Photo Matte, 67cm x 48cm.


16.01.2021
Christian O.
Art print on Canvas Satin, 39cm x 28cm, stretched on stretcher.


29.04.2021
Jörg W.
Art print on Canvas Satin, 67cm x 48cm, stretched on stretcher.
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Other art prints by Joseph Mallord William Turner
The Blue Rigi: Lake of Lucerne - Sunrise, 1842 Sky Study Vesuvius in Eruption Sunset over the lake The Fighting Temeraire, 1839 Morning amongst the Coniston Fells, Cumberland Fishermen at Sea Lucerne from the Lake Aeneas and the Cumaean Sybil The Red Rigi Sheerness as seen from the Nore Rain Steam and Speed, The Great Western Railway The Lake, Petworth: Sunset, a Stag Drinking Riva degli Schiavoni, Venice: Water Fête The Eruption of the Soufriere Mountains in the Island of St. Vincent, 30th April 1812, 1815
Other art prints by Joseph Mallord William Turner
The Blue Rigi: Lake of Lucerne - Sunrise, 1842 Sky Study Vesuvius in Eruption Sunset over the lake The Fighting Temeraire, 1839 Morning amongst the Coniston Fells, Cumberland Fishermen at Sea Lucerne from the Lake Aeneas and the Cumaean Sybil The Red Rigi Sheerness as seen from the Nore Rain Steam and Speed, The Great Western Railway The Lake, Petworth: Sunset, a Stag Drinking Riva degli Schiavoni, Venice: Water Fête The Eruption of the Soufriere Mountains in the Island of St. Vincent, 30th April 1812, 1815
Other motives from the category landscapes
Lake Albano, c.1790-92 Fireboard depicting The Landing of the Pilgrims, 1825 Mountain landscape with bridge, c.1783-1784 Mainz and Fort, 1817 (wc and bodycolour on paper) Between Lyme Regis and Charmouth On the River Ouse Scarborough Easter morning Landscape with a ruin, 1670 View of the lake, Corsham Court, Wiltshire Landscape with an Imaginary View of Tivoli, 1642 (oil on copper) Bridal Veil Falls, Yosemite, c.1871-1873 Stonehenge - A Showery Day (watercolour on paper) View of Dresden with the Frauenkirche at Left, 1747 Fontainebleau, the Road to Chailly, c.1822-24
Other motives from the category landscapes
Lake Albano, c.1790-92 Fireboard depicting The Landing of the Pilgrims, 1825 Mountain landscape with bridge, c.1783-1784 Mainz and Fort, 1817 (wc and bodycolour on paper) Between Lyme Regis and Charmouth On the River Ouse Scarborough Easter morning Landscape with a ruin, 1670 View of the lake, Corsham Court, Wiltshire Landscape with an Imaginary View of Tivoli, 1642 (oil on copper) Bridal Veil Falls, Yosemite, c.1871-1873 Stonehenge - A Showery Day (watercolour on paper) View of Dresden with the Frauenkirche at Left, 1747 Fontainebleau, the Road to Chailly, c.1822-24
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