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Film screening: Mr. Turner (12A)

"He has been here and fired a gun": Turner, Constable and the Royal Academy


● Cancelled

Friday 1 March 2019
6.30 — 9pm

This event has now ended

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“He has been here and fired a gun”: Turner, Constable and the Royal Academy

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JMW Turner played by Timothy Spall OBE in 'Mr. Turner' (2014)

Watch a special film screening of ‘Mr. Turner’, the biopic of Turner’s life which features one of the most legendary events in the history of the RA’s Summer Exhibition – and is the subject of a display in the RA Collection Gallery.

From acclaimed director Mike Leigh comes the untold story of the painter, JMW Turner RA, who in the last 25 years of his life has to make his way through love, loss and the change of his position in London’s art world.

This screening coincides with the return of two legendary works of art to the RA: Turner’s Helvoetsluys; - the City of Utrecht, 64, Going to Sea and John Constable RA’s The Opening of Waterloo Bridge. They were first exhibited side by side in 1832 at the Summer Exhibition, as seen in Mr. Turner.

During the film, director Mike Leigh revisits Varnishing Day in 1832, when Academicians still made last-minute revisions to their works. Turner (played by Timothy Spall) allegedly added a small dab of red paint to his marine canvas, which he then converted into an image of a buoy floating in the sea. His intention, seemingly, was to suggest that Constable’s painting – which features swathes of scarlet paint – was unnaturally ruddy.

This event will be introduced by Maurice Davies, the Head of the RA Collection. It coincides with our free display, “He has been here and fired a gun”: Turner, Constable and the Royal Academy.

Director: Mike Leigh
Running time: 150 mins
Language: English
Certificate: 12A
Release: 2014

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

Friday 1 March 2019

6.30 — 9pm

The Benjamin West Lecture Theatre, Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts

£10, £6