Miniature Lands of Myth & Mystery
1 Feb 2019, noon - 30 Nov 2019, noon
J.M.W. Turner's designs for Sir Walter Scott's Poetical Works & Life of Napoleon Buonaparte
J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851) and Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) first collaborated in 1818 on the Provincial Antiquities and Picturesque Scenery of Scotland (pub.1819-1826) while the artist was still living at his Twickenham villa, Sandycombe Lodge. It signalled the beginning of a formidable partnership between Britain's most famous artist and the internationally-celebrated author of Ivanhoe and Waverley.
This exhibition, the first to be staged at Turner's newly-restored home, focusses on their last collaboration before Sir Walter's death – the illustrations to his Poetical Works – and Turner's next commission, the designs for the author's Life of Napoleon Buonaparte. The exhibition will lead the visitor on a time-travelling journey through the wild north of England, the contested Border country and the awesome grandeur of the Western Highlands on the trail of the individual landscapes, antiquities, folk tales and ballads that inspired Scott's poetry, before turning to more recent history, to the warmer climes of France, Italy and the sublime Alps – witnesses to Bonaparte's dazzling rise from promising child cadet, to general, emperor and the most powerful man in Europe.