Analysis Of Turner 's ' Slave Ship ' Essay

938 Words Sep 27th, 2016 4 Pages
My initial reaction upon looking over Turner’s “Slave Ship” was that it appeared to be a beautiful landscape. The way the sky looks over the ship and the horizon line is really striking and powerful. However, as you start to look down you start to see the reason for the name of “Slave Ship”. Along the bottom of the painting you can see body parts of humans in the water. There are hands and feet, the foot on the bottom right has a shackle still attached to the ankle and there appear to be fish eating at the body. I think the most striking thing on first observation is how this painting is both exquisite and horrific simultaneously. That said, I’m continuously drawn to the fact that the whole painting seems cohesive except for what appear to be two stick figure humans on the bottom center of the image. Every other aspect of this painting is very realistic, heavy stroked but realistic nonetheless. But then there are these two rudimentary stick figures floating in the water and I wonder what the real purpose of them could be, why not draw them as detailed as the rest of the painting? While commonly known as Turner’s “Slave Ship” the original name of the painting is “Slavers Throwing overboard the Dead and Dying – Typhon coming on”. This actually gives a bit more detail into the historical significance of the painting. Originally, just hearing the name “Slave Ship” it’s hard to determine what is supposed to be transpiring within the painting. It’s easy to draw the…

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