J. M. W. Turner - The Fifth Plague of Egypt 1800

The Fifth Plague of Egypt 1800
The Fifth Plague of Egypt
1800 48x72cm oil/canvas
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

« previous picture | 1800s J. M. W. Turner Paintings | next picture »

From Indianapolis Museum of Art:
This dark, tempestuous painting marks the rise of Turner as a full-fledged Romantic painter. Relying on vast scale, dynamic movement, and dramatic subject, his composition appeals primarily to the emotions to communicate its message. Turner's motive for painting this canvas, which he exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1800, may have been a desire to impress British critics and viewers with his ability to handle serious themes. However, it does appear that the young painter mistitled his picture, as this canvas actually depicts the seventh plague of Egypt, when Moses stretched his arms toward heaven, and thunder, hail and fire rained on the pharaoh and his people.