Gallery 1

In celebration of J. M. W. Turner: Painting Set Free (de Young, June 20–September 20, 2015), the Legion of Honor presents an exhibition featuring drawings, watercolors, and oil sketches by Joseph Mallord William Turner and his contemporaries, including Thomas Gainsborough, John Robert Cozens, William Blake, John Constable, John Martin, and Samuel Palmer. This installation will emphasize the rich holdings of the Fine Arts Museums’ Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, as well as important examples from private collections in San Francisco.

Luminous Worlds gathers about 40 works, ranging widely in subject matter and technique, that reveal the richness and versatility of British artistic production over the course of a century. The exhibition reflects the 18th-century vogue for portraiture and caricature; the rise of landscape painting, especially in watercolors; the Romantic engagement with themes from mythology and literature; and 19th-century Orientalism. Highlights include Gainsborough’s Upland Landscape with Figures, Riders, and Cattle (ca. 1780–1790), Sir Thomas Lawrence’s Portrait of Mrs. Sarah Siddons (ca. 1790), Blake’s The Complaint of Job (ca. 1786), and Turner’s View of Kenilworth Castle (ca. 1830).

The exhibition is curated by Emerson Bowyer, research assistant, European Paintings.
 

EXPLORE LUMINOUS WORLDS

Take a Deeper Look at Select Works

Curious how John Constable made the birds "appear more ominous” in his etching Netley Abbey? Or how conservators determined that J.M.W. Turner's watercolor View of Kenilworth Castle was painted on paper from a mill owner named John Muggeridge?

Get an inside look with our digital experience at the techniques and materials used in a selection of works from Luminous Worlds, including those by Turner, Thomas Gainsborough, Constable, and John Ruskin.

Flip Through Flights of Fancy, or Imaginary Scraps

Flights of Fancy, or Imaginary Scraps, (ca. 1842–1877) is a book of painstakingly rendered drawings produced by a little-known poet named Charles Carrick. It contains 174 pages of images and texts, and apparently was inspired by unrequited love. Carrick’s images are surprisingly modern, anticipating later artistic movements and styles, such as abstraction, Futurism, and Surrealism.

Flip through the pages of this extraordinary book in a digital rendering of the original object.
 

Tickets

Entry to this exhibition is included in general admission to the museum. Adults $10, seniors 65+ $7, students with current ID $6, youths 6–17 $6, members and children 5 and under free. Prices subject to change without notice.

Exhibition Highlights

William Blake, The Complaint of Job, ca. 1793. Brush and black ink and gray wash on paper. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, memorial gift from Dr. T. Edward and Tullah Hanley, Bradford, Pennsylvania, 69.30.215
John Constable, Netley Abbey, ca. 1833. Etching with hand coloring in black and gray wash and white chalk with scraping on paper. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, gift of the Graphic Arts Council and Prints and Drawings Art Trust Fund
Richard Dadd, Bearded Man with a Pipe, 1842–1843. Watercolor on paper. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, museum purchase, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts Endowment Fund
Thomas Gainsborough, Upland Landscape with Figures, Riders, and Cattle, ca. 1780–1790. Watercolor and lead white with varnish on paper. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, museum purchase, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Sidney M. Ehrman
Sir Thomas Lawrence, Portrait of Mrs. Sarah Siddons, ca. 1790. Graphite on paper. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, gift of the Goldyne family in memory of Dr. Alfred J. Goldyne
John Ruskin, A River in the Highlands, ca. 1847. Watercolor over graphite on paper. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, museum purchase, gift of the Graphic Arts Council
Edward Burne-Jones, The Tree of Forgiveness—A Mosaic in Rome (design for The Tree of Life mosaic in the American Church, Rome), 1891. Black, blue, gray, and white chalk and metallic paint on green paper. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, memorial gift of Dr. T. Edward and Tullah Hanley
Joseph Mallord William Turner, View of Kenilworth Castle, ca. 1830. Watercolor and opaque watercolor with scraping and wiping on paper. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, gift of Osgood Hooker
Joseph Mallord William Turner, Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy, ca. 1827. Watercolor with scraping on paper. Collection of Marie and George Hecksher
Joseph Mallord William Turner, Mackerel, ca. 1835–1840. Watercolor and graphite with traces of metallic paint on paper. Collection of Marie and George Hecksher
John Martin, The End of the World, ca. 1837–1838. Watercolor with scraping and incising with varnish on paper. Collection of Marie and George Hecksher
Edward Lear, Mount Sinai, 1869. Watercolor and opaque watercolor on paper. Collection of Marie and George Hecksher

Audio files

Sponsors

This exhibition is organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Support for the presentation of digital content associated with this exhibition is provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.