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    Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851) – A Shipwreck off Hastings. © National Gallery of Ireland

    The National Gallery of Ireland’s popular annual exhibition of watercolours by J.M.W. Turner opens today and continues for the month of January. This year, Turner’s work will feature alongside coastal scenes by an array of British and Irish artists from the collection. Turner and Coastal Scenes reflects his lifelong passion for the sea. The artist revelled in capturing its ever-changing character, along with the activities of those whose livelihoods depended on it. His watercolours in the Vaughan Bequest at the National Gallery of Ireland range from tranquil beach and harbour scenes to depictions of storm-tossed seas and shipwrecks. Coastal locations include Dover, Hastings, Folkestone, Clovelly, Plymouth, as well as Ostend and Venice, famously known as the jewel of the Adriatic.

    This year, the Gallery’s annual display of the Vaughan Bequest of Turner watercolours is complemented by a selection of eighteenth and nineteenth-century coastal scenes by British and Irish artists. Like Turner, these artists drew inspiration from the rugged coastlines and bustling fishing communities that they encountered at first hand. Well-known locations including the Baily Lighthouse in Howth, Dún Aonghasa on the Aran Islands, and the Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim are depicted. Significant artists who feature in this display include David Cox the Elder, Andrew Nicholl, George Petrie and Frederic William Burton.

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