Louise Jury at the Evening Standard illustrates the logistics necessary–the wheeling and dealing, really–to put on a show that allows an ambitious artist like Turner to take on contemporaries and the artists who achieved greatness before him:
Ian Warrell, the curator, said: “It has always been recognised that Turner owed so much to the Old Masters, but the prospect of an exhibition was always too daunting.” The Tate started by talking to the National Gallery in London to secure key loans of works by Claude Lorrain and Rembrandt as well as Turner. This was followed by talks with the Louvre in Paris and the Prado in Madrid, which are lending works hardly ever allowed out of their collections.
Mr Warrell said: “The Louvre almost never lends Winter, The Deluge by Poussin. We had to twist their arm to persuade them. And the Prado never lends Veronese’s The Finding of Moses. It is the first time. But there was this recognition that it’s a really important show for the understanding of Turner, that sense that he looks back as well as talking to the modern.” Other rare loans include The Virgin and Child by Titian and Canaletto’s The Bacino di San Marco on Ascension Day from the Royal Collection and other works from Japan and America.
Turner could be bold in taking on the Old Masters, Mr Warrell said, and he often holds his own even in cases when that could not have been predicted. “Everyone assumes that pairing Turner with Titian would be a walkover for Titian but in our pairing it’s quite a dramatic confrontation,” he added.
Turner at Tate (This Is London)