The world of J. M. W. Turner, Claude Monet and Cy Twombly is awash with sea, sky, and landscapes, and is a place where it seems colour and atmosphere are of higher importance than subject matter. All three of these artists appear to express their emotions through colour, and by looking around Tate Liverpool’s new exhibition, it appears the similarities don’t end there. This show hosts an abundance of work by each artist, and shows a progression in Impressionist painting that leaves the most contemporary of the three, Twombly, adrift between modern and traditional techniques.
‘View of Rouen,’ all of which are mirrored in Twombly’s romantic use of pinks and purples. The misty blues and oranges in Monet’s pieces are however more reminiscent of Turner, who often opted for an earthy palette, using the colours of the elements. Monet’s ‘Morning on the Seine’ and Turner’s ‘The Thames Above Waterloo Bridge’ both share pastel qualities and subtly represented scenery which make them fit well together within this show.
It is interestingly the use of white which seems to link Turner to Twombly in this exhibition. From smaller series’ of oil paintings by Turner such as ‘Red Sky Over a Beach’ and ‘Sea and Sky’ there is an evident likeness to Twombly, with only hints of other colours bleeding through. This unexpected lightness from Turner, and sometimes an unexpected darkness in his other pieces, is also something we see reflected in the contemporary bold works of Twombly.