The Handbook can do culture, we bleed oil paint; there’s more art history in our little finger than Prince William learnt at St Andrew’s (tbf he switched to geography, couldn’t hack it). So don’t be suprised to see us furrowing a brows and commenting on the patina down at JMW Turner’s gaffe this spring.
Noted for his landscapes and watercolours, eighteenth century artist Turner was attracted to the Thames like Monet to waterlillies or Van Gogh to his ear shears. Paintings like The Fighting Temeraire are etched into our national consciousness while NIMBYs fight tooth and nail to protect Turner’s vision of London from Richmond Hill, there was a 1902 Act of Parliament to this end and it comes up every time someone proposes another skyscraper.
And so how better to enjoy Turner’s paintings of the Thames than in Turner’s own home, that he built for himself in Twickenham. Grade II Sandycombe Lodge, which has been recently restored to its former glory, will rival the rugby stadium as a magnet for red trouser wearers as five oil paintings arrive this Friday on loan from The Tate.
But it’s well worth a visit for anyone with even a passing interest in art, the Thames or London.
The exhibition runs from Friday 10th January Sunday 29th March, Sandycombe Lodge, 40 Sandycoombe Road, St Margarets, Twickenham, TW1 2LR.