Colour and Feeling: Lectures at Dulwich Picture Gallery

JMW Turner Norham Castle, Sunrise, Tate

The first of the Autumn series of evening lectures put on by the Friends of Dulwich Picture Gallery starts on thisTuesday, 30 September


This study of colour in art is timed to coincide with Tate Modern’s exhibition of the works of Mark Rothko, which runs from 26th September 2008 to 1st February 2009.  All three artists to be considered in the course, JMW Turner, Mark Rothko and Pierre Bonnard, used colour in a powerful, expressive, yet intensely individual way.

Joseph Mallard William Turner Ulysses deriding Polyphemus – Homer’s Odyssey 1829 © The National Gallery, London

The Art of JMW Turner: “Colouring Run Mad”
Lecturer: Val Woodgate

One of the greatest painters of the Romantic movement, and widely regarded as Britain’s greatest and best-loved artist, Turner was obsessed throughout  his life with light and the forces of nature.

His use of colour was to become visually stunning, particularly in his astonishing treatment of sunrise and sunset. Among his most beautiful works are his pictures inspired by Italy, and it was there that his use of colour was to become truly liberated, an aspect of his art which was to attract both praise and condemnation. His painting “Ulysses deriding Polyphemus”‘in the National Gallery was, according to the Literary Gazette, an example of “colouring run mad”, but according to Ruskin it was “the central picture of Turner’s career.”

Joseph Mallard William Turner The Fighting Temeraire 1839 © The National Gallery, London

In a poll by Radio 4 in December 2005, listeners were asked to vote for the Nation’s favourite painting in our great collections. Unsurprisingly, Turner’s “The Fighting Téméraire” in the National Gallery,  received the most votes.

To find out more or to book for this lecture or the series of 3, visit the main gallery site.

About this article


About Ingrid

Co-Editor and ex-Chair of the Friends Committee. I’m a teacher. I’ve worked in the education department of Dulwich Picture Gallery for 14 years, guiding, lecturing and teaching anyone from 7 years old to degree level. I have run a number of education projects (in a remand home, a prison, a local primary school) and am now the e-learning project developer. I commission articles rather than write them and am mainly in charge of the Gallery related articles.
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