Rain, Steam and Speed – The Great Western Railway

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Rain, Steam and Speed –
The Great Western Railway
Turner - Rain, Steam and Speed - National Gallery file.jpg
Artist J.M.W. Turner
Year 1844
Type oil on canvas
Dimensions 91 cm × 121.8 cm (36 in × 48.0 in)
Location National Gallery, London

Rain, Steam and Speed – The Great Western Railway is an oil painting by the 19th century British painter J. M. W. Turner.[1] The painting was first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1844, though it may have been painted earlier. It is now in the collection of the National Gallery, London.

The Great Western Railway (GWR) was one of a number of private British railway companies created to develop the new means of transport. The location of the painting is widely accepted as Maidenhead Railway Bridge, across the River Thames between Taplow and Maidenhead. The view is looking east towards London. The bridge was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and completed in 1838. A tiny hare appears in the bottom right corner of the painting. Some have this as a reference to the limits of technology.[2] Others believe the animal is running in fear of the new machinery and Turner meant to hint at the danger of man's new technology destroying the inherent sublime elements of nature.[3]

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References[edit]

External video
Turner's Rain, Steam, and Speed - The Great Western Railway at Smarthistory.
  1. ^ Gerald E. Finley (1999), Angel in the Sun: Turner's vision of history, McGill-Queen's Press, ISBN 0773517472 
  2. ^ Hanning, Barbara. (2010) Concise History of Western Music. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, p. 402.
  3. ^ Meslay, Olivier. (2005) J.M.W. Turner: The Man Who Set Painting On Fire. London: Thames & Hudson, 2005, p. 133.

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