Sunday, July 6, 2008

Overheard at the Turner Show

A very extensive show of J.M.W. Turner's paintings is now on view at New York's Metropolitan Museum. I've had the good fortune to see many of these previously, at the Tate Britain, the National Gallery, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The show is too large to take in on one visit, and I plan to return. To cite just one painting, you can't look at the masterpiece The Shipwreck too often; it's an experience comparable to listening to Beethoven. 

Tate Collection | The Shipwreck by Joseph Mallord William Turner

When contemplating the painting shown above, I could not, of course, help thinking of Sherlock Holmes's final struggle with Professor Moriarty at the top of the Reichenbach Falls. Though not a Baker Street Irregular, I am just as saturated with Holmesiana as most literate English speakers. As I was standing there, I heard a voice behind me murmur, "Moriarty." Amused, I turned around and said, "I was thinking the same thing. You can never hear the name 'Reichenbach' without Holmes and Moriarty coming to mind." The speaker and his companions smiled broadly.

1 comment:

Abby Cronin said...

Oh, how I wish I could see the Turner Show at the MET--alas, I'll have to be satisfied with web gazing and when the loaned paintings are back home in TATE BRITAN-I'll pay a special visit just for Turner.