With its three masts drawn up and broken spar jutting forward, impotent and incapable, the ivory white bodied, golden wooden rimmed elegance is being tugged by a smaller addling steamboat.
The light, timid brushstrokes and colors Turner uses on the ship gives it an ethereal, ghostlike look. So much, in fact, that the reflection of the craft is almost submerged in the serene waters. On the other hand, the tugboat, depicted in light wooden brown and tinged with a dimmed sunny yellow and green complete with auburn smog billowing from its long black pipe, is seen and reflected much more clearly. Above, a little to the left of the ship, hovers a pallid lunar sliver. To the right, the setting sun lingers on the verge of the horizon-its blend of scarlet, golden, range rays reaching out and reflecting off the clouds and river.
The blithe sky is blanketed by an assortment Of clouds ranging from cottony white to various shades of grey. In the misty background, an array of smaller boats and big ships sail, receding into the distance. Near the middle right-hand edge of the painting lies what seems to be a port-lined with factories, shops, houses, and a dock-where darkened people in a dingy are observing the scene. In the bottom right corner of the art work, a shadowed buoy float bobs in the water. There is nothing in the painting that really snags attention away from the Temerity’s ad journey to her impending doom.
My first impression of the painting was that it was beautiful. The scenery is gorgeous: a magnificent ship and the joining of sky and river. The way the artist captured such a picture with his lax, graceful brushstrokes drew me to the painting and made me decide to write about it. After studying the painting for a couple more minutes and trying to understand what the artist is trying to convey, I sensed a kind of despair coming from the oil canvas-a weariness of some sort. Even though most of the painting is splashed in warm colors (reds, oranges, and yellows), the acetic Temperate seems isolated/sad.
Looking into the history behind the masterpiece, I found that the Temperate was a battleship part of Nelson’s fleet which won the British victory against the threat of Napoleon. After its service, it was dragged across the Thames River by two tugboats to the docks to be separated and recycled. The vessel being drawn by the tugboat is supposed to signify the dawning of a new era: The Industrial Revolution-a time where steamboats chugged and polluted the English air with a vast amount of burned coal. The moment, trapped for all time by Turner, reminds me of people and of my religion.
Like everything in the world, there is a beginning and an end. No matter how greatest are, how many empires you have conquered, we are all mortal. We will all end up as zero/nothing-brought into this world by Mother Nature and returned to her. The F-sighting Temperate, a mighty warship that achieved greatness, was slowly pieced together with care by many people. It started out from small chunks of wood and needed many months of work to become an enormous ship that protected lands and people for England-similar to how a child is nurtured and grows up to become an adult to accomplish outstanding tasks for his/her family.
After many years of voyaging and fighting, the craft grew old and powerless and had to rely on new technology (steam engines/boats) to make its last journey to its end-much like to how people work hard, slowly deteriorate/age, and have to depend on the younger generation to help them. It’s a never-ending cycle that exists in both living and non-living things. Everything that goes up, must come back down.