The Slave Ship Turner Analysis

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Slave Ship
Luis D. Nieves Introduction to Humanities
Western Governors University

Analysis if “The Slave Ship” painting by J.M.W. Turner

A1: Initial Thoughts
This painting caught my attention starting with the tittle and tone of the piece. Bright colors reflect what seems like dawn coming down on the ship a deep sense of chaos as my eyes turn to the bodies drowning on the rough sea. Tons of questions come to mind, was the storm responsible for the struggling lives at sea or where they throw by others on purpose? There is an overwhelming feeling of sorrow and despair reflected on the colors surrounding the chained arms trying to survive. What could those souls have done to deserve such pain?

A2: Aspect of Interest
The slave ship
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Turners love of the arts was early noted on a series of simple colorings of engraved plates from Henry Boswell’s Picturesque view of antiques of England and Wales. The painting is based on poem about a slave ship, and a true story of a slave ship captain that threw his slaves overboard to collect insurance money. Timed to coincide with an anti-slavery league meeting, the painting was first exhibited at the Royal Academy in London in 1840. The Crown Prince Albert was a speaker at that meeting and it was Turner’s wish to influence the popular anti-slavery movement of the…show more content…
Turner was well known for this theme and painting in its style. His use of vivid colors to enhance the ocean scene in this painting along with the setting sun brings the viewer to understand the events of this painting. His use of color shows the setting sun with storm clouds forming. His light to dark fading brings a contrast to the painting that enhances the nature theme over any other. We also see that romantic painters were principally partial to showing the effects light in their paintings which is one of the most obvious visible cues that shows this as a piece done during the romantic period.
Another major theme evident in this painting is revolution. While this painting was made to show the beauty in nature and the awesome power of the sea, it was also created in revolt to the slave trade. This is apparent in the images of horror depicted that ensures the viewer feels sorrow and disgust in this practice. Turner does a great job depicting the evils of the salve trade by showing the bodies that have been cast over and destined to drown in the water.

B4: Relevance to
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