This month's featured oil painting Turner's 'Ulysses Deriding Polyhemus'.
(1775-1851) was the son of a barber and born in Convent
Garden, London. His talent was precocious. He was
admitted into the Royal Academy Schools in 1789 and first exhibited at the RA
his life he was much indebted to the Academy, which recognized his genius and
supported him against many of the arbiters of taste. He became an Associate
member of the RA in 1799 and Deputy President in 1845.
Deriding Polyhemus Homers Odyssey
the heightening of color in this oil painting has reached a new extreme. This
was undoubtedly a consequence of Turners reactions to both light and atmosphere
in Italy and to the works of art he was looking at during his stay there in
1828-9 when he produced a sketch for Ulysses as well as having a
studio in Rome where he could experiment with the range of his palette. The change was noticeable enough for one
contemporary critic to write of the unnatural
tawdriness of the picture and its coloring
run mad. John Ruskin was to call it later the central picture in Turners career.