Art exhibition: Turner in January
The annual Turner in January exhibition will open at the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh featuring an outstanding collection of watercolours bequeathed in 1900 by Henry Vaughan.
For over a century the Gallery has followed the stipulations set out by the art collector that 38 works encapsulating the entire career of one of the great masters of British painting were to be exhibited to the public “all at one time, free of charge, during the month of January” when the light is subdued. This would limit their exposure to strong daylight and protect the pigments from fading.
His foresight means that the watercolours are notable for their fine condition. The Vaughan Turner display has run throughout the month of January since 1900 and brings a welcome injection of light and colour at the darkest time of the year in Scotland.
The exhibition encapsulates the artist’s entire career, ranging from the subtle and meticulous Monro School watercolours of the 1790s, such as Rye, Sussex and Lake Albano, to the spectacular Venetian views of 1840, such as The Piazzetta, Venice and Venice from the Laguna, which capture the drama and explosive skies of late summer Adriatic storms.
This year six of Turner’s watercolour illustrations to the Collected Poems of the Scottish poet Thomas Campbell, also from the NGS collection, will be included in the exhibition.
These will complement his designs for illustrations to the work of Sir Walter Scott, which form part of the Vaughan Bequest.
Turner in January, Scottish National Gallery 1-31 January, Admission free