Ruskin and Turner’s Poetry, SAES 2016


Ruskin and Turner’s Poetry, SAES 2016   

Turner Images 

Ce travail a lieu dans le cadre d’un travail en cours plus conséquent intitulé ‘Ruskin, Turner, Ruskin’’s discovery of climate change, degrowth and the Guild of St George’

Turner’s poetry and other texts, including the complete titles  he gives to his paintings, are often important for understanding fully the meanings of the latter

Yet they are omitted from most of the  captions to his paintings on the Tate website.

From 1811 onwards, Turner often accompanies his pictures with poetry said to come from an MS entities Fallacies  of Hope. These are especially important, but they are not the only ones

Let us begin  with  the first two major Carthage pictures, of 1815 and 1817.

 

Turner_Dido_Building_Carthage

 Dido building Carthage,  exh. 1815,  BJ 131, National Gallery, London.                       This is the title to be found on the National gallery website

We will restore Turner’s full   title :  Dido building Carthage, or the Rise of the Carthaginian Empire, as to found in  the RA catalogue of 1815    

This shows we are in   the domain on Empire building, not simply city building

Though it may be argued that when Turner donated this picture to the NG with…he wanted to emphasize  here  the painterly  Claudian aspect of  the work rather than the historical aspect.

Nevertheless he did not split the original title of the picture

and  such is the complete title

The second Carthage picture is

The Decline of the Carthaginian Empire ... exhibited 1817 by Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851

BJ  THE DECLINE OF THE CARTHAGINIAN EMPIRE                                                                   EMPIRE,  Rome being determined on the overthrow of her hated rival demanded from her such terms  as might either force her into  war or ruin her by compliance :  the enervated Carthagians,  in their anxiety for peace, consented  to give up even their arms  and their children, exh. 1817  

(Did they not fight Rome to the bitter end ? ) 

. . . At Hope’s delusive smile,                                                                                                The chieftain’s safety and the mother’s pride,                                                                        Were to the  insidious  conqu’or’s grasp resign’d;                                                            While o’er the western  wave th’ensanguin’d sun                                                               In gathering haze a stormy signal spread,                                                                            And set portentous.

Though this poem is not said by Turner to be  from the Fallacies  of Hope ms, the conception of these pictures is in the same spirit, it seem to us.

The Tate website, which omitted the greater part  of Turner’s title, and Turner’s poetry from the RA catalogue, nevertheless is correct here for once to some extent.   and seems to recognizes and acknowledges that there is a pointed?  moral to this  picture

This is we find the on the Tate website :                                                                                  “Turner saw the rise and fall of once-great empires as a historical inevitability, confirmed by the fall of Napoleon, but threatening to overtake the victorious British.”

This is all the more to the merit of the Tate that they may explicit what is only implicit in Turner

As Butlin and Joel mention, John Gage had allready stressed this fact in an article in 1974 had pointed out that such comparisons of the rise and fall of empires and their application to the contemporary situation were a commonplace in the 18th and 19th as in Goldsmith’s ….and Gibbon’s ….    (where in each ? )

Comme il a été explique plus haut  : ce travail a lieu dans le cadre d’un travail en cours plus conséquent intitulé ‘Ruskin, Turner, Ruskin’’s discovery of climate change, degrowth and the Guild of St George’

Dans cette perspective il convient  d’ajouter ici que cette idée d’empire doit être pris dans un sens large. Elle émigre à l’ouest aux Etats-Unis, qui hérite  des empires autant français que britannique,, et peut même être étendu à l’humanité entière, dans son rapport avec la nature,  bien que certains peuvent être considérés comme plus responsables que d’autres, (voir photo panneau bld St Germain; ministère de …

The next picture we will comment is :

Snow Storm: Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps exhibited 1812 by Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851

126 Snowstorm, Hannibal and his Army Crossing  the Alps, 1812

Sur le site de la Tate gallery, le poème de Turner est supprimé et il y a simplement le commentaire suivant :

« For Turner, the figure of Hannibal – here leading his armies to attack Italy – had powerful associations with Napoleon. These connections had been explicitly drawn in an official portrait of Napoleon about to lead his own armies across the St Bernard Pass. Snow Storm, however, does not celebrate the power of the individual, but expresses man’s vulnerability in the face of nature’s overwhelming force. Hannibal himself is not pictured, and attention is focused upon victims of the conflict, the struggling soldiers. »

Le poème de Turner, described for the first time as coming from his ‘MS. P(oem?) Fallacies of Hope’, est le suivant :

“Craft, treachery and fraud – Salassian force,                                                               Hung  on the fainting rear ! Then Plunder seized                                                                  The victor and the captive,- Sagentum’s spoil                                                                Alike became their prey; still the chief advanced                                                                   Look’d on the sun with hope; – low,  broad,  and wan;                                               While the fierce archer of the downward year                                                              Stains Italy’s blanched barrier with storms                                                                          In vain each pass, ensanguin’d deep with dead,                                                               Or rocky fragments, wide destruction rolled,                                                                    Still on Campania’s fertile plains — he thought,                                                                      But the loud breeze sob’d, “Capua’s joys beware ! ”

 

The display caption at Tate Britain and its website  leave out these verses

According  to the Tate, the picture is about Snow Storm, however, does not celebrate the power of the individual, but « expresses man’s vulnerability in the face of nature’s overwhelming force. »

 

Il est clair par ce poème et le contexte historique   que le thème principal du tableau n’est pas la vulnérabilité de l’homme face a la  Nature. Hannibal a  franchi avec succès les Alpes, mais son entreprise de l’invasion de l’Italie et la conquête de Rome, le grand rival de Carthage,  a été compromis et a finalement échoué, en partie, en tout état de cause, aux excès commis par son armée à Capoue, d’où son ramollissement, et son échec final.
(Expliquer Capua)

Bel exemple des Illusions de l’Espoir

 

 

 

Voyons maintenant :

The Prince of Orange, William III, Embarked from Holland, and Landed at Torbay, November 4th, 1688, after a Stormy Passage exhibited 1832 by Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851

343 The Prince of Orange, William III, Embarked from Holland, and Landed at Torbay, November 4th, 1688, after a Stormy Passage

This picture was exhibited  in 1832 with a reference to ‘-” History of England” ‘  and the text  ‘The yacht in which his majesty sailed was after many changes and services, finally wrecked on the Hambourg sands, while employed in the Hull trade’

According  to like Lindsay, there is a  reference to political events in England at the time : 1832 was a year of radical agitation, insurrection ‘(at Bristol) and successful parliamentary reform

Lindsay sees here a Thomsonian inspiration. Part IV of Liberty ends with a long apostrophe to William as the man who saved England from     bigotry and oppression. Thomson stresses the storm as symbolically representing the counter-revolution. Liberty speaks :

« Immortal Nassau came. I hushed the deep                                                                         By demons roused, and bade the listed winds,                                                                   Still shifting as behoved, with various breath                                                                 Waft the deliverer  to the longing shore ». Liberty, 

In rhe context of the struggle for the Reform Bill, Tuner’s picture of William , in the face  of the opposition of the elements  to bring about the Glorious Revolution can only have one meaning.

Lindsay suggest that there is an allegorical intent in the note added :  ‘Turner reminds of the twist that distorts men’s aims and hopes ; the triumphant ship of liberty is  wrecked in the end    as the mere instrument of trade’, Lindsay, p. 62

This is the display cation on the Tate website :

« This representation of an historical event contains a number of errors. William’s fleet had indeed been beaten back to base in October 1688 but on 1 November sailed in perfect weather, landing on 5 November. Like various earlier Dutch-inspired compositions, this, too, carries a political message connected with Anglo-Dutch relations. Here, Turner criticises again British non-intervention in the Belgian revolt, which was to lead to the termination in 1839 of the United Netherlands. In the Academy catalogue Turner added a curious note about the Prince having sailed his yacht, not a frigate – a confusion with his arrival in a yacht for his wedding to Princess Mary on 4th (!) November 1677. »

The storm is obviously symbolical. Poetic or painterly licence

If the painting  was referring to the Anglo Dutch relations and were a criticism against British non intervention     there would  be no reason for a symbolical storm.

Moreover the Belgian revolt was perfectly legitimate                                                   One can hardly see how Turner could be against it, and wish British intervention. (Query the Tate website)

Turners s note is perfectly clear                                                                                         This is a frequent theme in Thomson, and classical thought. There can be too much trade.

(Aside ? : The question today is  whether all environmental problems can be solved by the market, (there is money to be made in green business, green energy etc…) or whether there must be a serious  change in mentality and difficult political unpopular-with-some decisions.)

Butlin   and Joll also make the parallel between the Glorious Revolution and the passing of the Reform Bill

They make no mention of Anglo-Dutch relations or the Belgian revolution

(Check nevertheless Bachrach’s Turner’s Holland  )

L’examen  de ces quelques exemples que nous avons vu ci-dessus ainsi que de   l’ensemble de la poésie de Turner, et tout spécialement des poèmes attribués aux Fallacies of Hope, ms.,      révèle une façon de penser qu’on pourrait qualifier de  pessimisme classique : les entreprises humaines  ont tendance à être déviées  ou à échouer à cause  d’une tendance humaine à l’ubris ou à l’excès

Il est à noter que le grand historien du climat, Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, utilise le même terme  d’ubris dans le  3ème volume de son Histoire Humaine et Comparée du Climat, t. 3,  Le Réchauffement de 1860 à nos jours. Il  se demande si cette histoire qu’il pratique, à la fois évènementielle et de longue durée, ‘est à même d’affronter l’ubris de la hyper consommation des carburants fossiles, et, consécutive, la némésis du réchauffement mondial’, p. 21

En rapport avec ce ci revenons pour  for a moment to the Snowstorm picture with its poetry from the Fallacies of Hope and its last line  « … beware the joys of Capua”

Comme il a été mentionné ce travail a lieu dans le cadre d’un travail plus conséquent relatif à Ruskin et,  parmi d’autres choses,  sa découvert du changement climatique anthropique, qui a eu lieu vers la fin des années 1860.

Souvenons nous de la dernier ligne du poème (que nous avons examiné ci-dessus) qui accompagnait le tableau de Turner Snowstorm : Hannibal crossing the Alps :  

« But the loud breeze sob’d, Capua’s joys beware ! (expliquer Capua ?)

Ceci nous donne l’indice d’un dernier  tableau que Turner aurait pu entreprendre si il avait vécu plus longtemps  ou plus tard, dans l’esprit de Fallacies of Hope

turner-rain-steam-speed-great-western-railway-ng538-ft

Rain, Steam and   Speed, the great Western Railway, BJ 409

(pas une bonne reproduction)  

 

Turner did not have the same prevention against   steam power that Ruskin had, (see Rain, Steam and   Speed, the great Western Railway, BJ 409, above,  mettre un lien ici avec Tate Turner collection),  nevertheless in view of his Fallacies of Hope point of view, if Ruskin  had had  occasion to tell him, when he discovered the first signs of climate change  in the late 1860’s, that there were going to be serious problems with the Industrial Revolution,  he would not have been surprised

Perhaps he might have even thought of a  picture to which he could have appended a poem from the Fallacies of Hope ending with a line warning/mettant en garde contre   les Joies de la Revolution Industrielle, a picture with an industrial subject,  something like The Fighting Téméraire being towed to its last birth to be broken up, with its nasty little tugboat,  accompanied with a poem ending with « … beware the joys of the Industrial Revolution. »

 

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The Fighting Téméraire being towed to its last birth to be broken up, National Gallery.

This would expand on the feeling expressed in this picture, where we feel, in the words of the reviewer of the Art union  a great a certain nostalgia  for « the venerable victor in a hundred fights tugged to his rest by a paltry steam boat upon which he looks down with powerless contempt, (he)   the old bulwark of a nation governed and guided by the mean thing that is to take his place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR ENGLISH VERSION

 

This painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1812  and accompanied in the catalogue of the exhibit by the following verses by Turner, described for the first time as coming from his ‘MS. P(oem?) Fallacies of Hope’.

 

 

 

PLACER AILLEURS

We suggest BBB stand for a good hour on his knees in the dark on the  staircase leading into the so called Clore Gallery  and then stands for a good moment  in front of The Angel standing in the Sun , (see below) so that the angel can unleaech some of his anger  against this bit of /all this (of) balderdash un nonsense, il he cannot find  an answer to these criticisms

OMIT

 

an exemple of English shop keeping mentality ? in terms of F Nie?

Il ya unje not interssante de Ruskin

much to the admiration of the collectors of the subilline leaves of the FH

 

 

 

ALTERNATIVE

The Tate Britain  website has left out these verses

According  to the Tate, the picture is about

According  to Turners’ verse this is not the fundament meaning od the picture in general or philosophical term

 

 

REPLACE

 

Why this abbreviation, or cutting things in half ? to avoid the weighty question?

 

REJETS

Here you may judge for yourselves

 

 

L’examen  de l’ensemble de la poésie de Turner révèle une façon de penser qu’on pourrait qualifier de  pessimisme classique : les entreprises humaines  ont tendance à être déviées  ou à échouer à cause  d’une tendance humaine à l’ubris ou à l’excès

(Il est à noter que le grand historien du climat, Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, utilise le même terme  d’ubris dans le  4ème volume de son Histoire Humaine et Comparée du Climat, t. 3,  Le Réchauffement de 1860 à nos jours. Il  se demande si cette histoire qu’il pratique, à la fois évènementielle et de longue durée, ‘est à même d’affronter l’ubris de la hyper consommation des carburants fossiles, et, consécutive, la némésis du réchauffement mondial’, p. 21)

 

 

 

, (point de vue vers laquelle avait évolué William Morris)

 

Leave out 425 too beyond sujet Climate problem

DBB

 

 

Replace :

Utterly sily as  introdiction to Turner

Of course we feel meaning is important

Sun has you, (hypocrite lecteur)  in his aim

Lost about DBB doing repentance standing in dark

or la lot of nonsense

 

Some silly comments in                                                                                                                   Browne introductory film to Turner collection website analyses this picture

Browne introductory film to Turner collection website

 

 

Draws spectator into film …(good )

But the rest of this commentary is inept

 

This we believe wold be justified  bh the following elements

 

To be completed

 

Add Il est clair par ce poème

 

20/   378 Ancient Rome

 

, as Linsay ha s aptly put it
The next picture is

 

 

OMIT

 

 

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