I chose the art piece "The Slave Ship", also known as "Slavers Throwing Overboard the Dead
and Dying - Typhon coming on" (1840) by William Turner. It’s a bold painting of a ship crashing into
waves while the bodies of slaves float behind it. What attracted me to this painting was the use of
color. The colors and movement within the brush strokes have a dramatic effect. This painting makes
The painting was made in 1840 and this would be considered to be the Romantic Period. The
Romantic period came out of reaction against the ideals of the Enlightenment period which influenced
European philosophy, politics, and art from the mid-17th century until the end of the 18th century.
While Enlightenment thinkers valued logic, reason, and rationality, Romantics valued emotion,
passion, and individuality. British Romantic Art typically used nature and sympathetic real life
experiences to communicate emotion. The painting techniques include bright, vibrant colors, or paler
and darker tones that do not provide contrast within the painting, but are rather blended and create a
Landscape art made up a large portion of what you would see out of the Romantic Period.
Landscape art is defined by using natural scenery such as mountains, valleys, trees, rivers, and forests,
arranged into a coherent composition. Landscape backgrounds remain an important part of the work
even with people in the painting. Skies are almost always seen in landscape paintings, with clouds and
weather adding to the composition.
Romantic painting increased during the French Revolution (1789), when artists felt free to be
more progressive with their art, instead of focusing on the monarch...
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... Clarkson. There was a public outrage in
England over the report. A captain of a slave ship came to the realization that his insurance company
would only cover the cost of slaves lost at sea but not the sick or dying ones. So he had the sick slaves
thrown off the ship so he could capitalize on it. Turner wanted to communicate the negative impact that
greed has on one’s ethics.
In the 17th century, slaves were in great demand when coffee and tea became quite popular in
Britain. Sugar, tobacco and rice were all slave crops and were desired all throughout Europe. Traders
had to reevaluate how they were going to keep up with it all. British ships transported around 2.8
million enslaved Africans and shipped them out to European colonies so that they could provide cheap
labor. Between 1690 to 1807, Britain becomes the biggest slave trading country.