A fascinating new exhibition, Turner & the Masters, has just opened at Tate Britain. It seems that Turner, one of the greatest of English painters, was extremely competitive and liked to pit his skills against those of the great masters from whom he drew his inspiration. For the first time these directly competing paintings have been hung side by side, mainly in pairs. The result is enthralling. In most cases Turner comes out very well against the likes of Rembrandt, Titian, Canaletto, Veronese, Claude Lorrain and Poussin, though it has to be admitted that he does not match up on every occasion.
Many of the paintings have been lent for the first time for many years from great collections in Washington, Madrid or Japan, and as well as following the theme of the show, it is a great pleasure to see these wonderful pictures here in the Tate.
A Rising Gale by Van de Velde