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Jim Tildesley: The Navy, the Mob, and Other Dominant Influences in Turner’s Britain

November 9

Join us as Jim Tildesley, former director of the Scottish Maritime Museum and Member of the UK National Historic Ships Committee, discusses conditions in Europe during the time of celebrated painter J.M.W. Turner.

Turner was born before the end of the Revolutionary War in a London, a city that was growing and changing rapidly. During his first 36 years, Turner only saw nine years of peace. In times of war, the British Navy, the largest bureaucratic organization in the country, tried to dominate the sea and had a considerable influence on civilian life. The young Turner was not isolated from the impact of the Navy on land nor could he have avoided the fickle demonstrations of the London Mob. This was a world where force was used to settle disputes and the monarchy, nobility, and politicians lived in fear of revolution.

Image: Tate: Whitby, c.1824, J.M.W. Turner (1775–1851) © Tate, London 2019.