The Blue Rigi Lake of Lucerne at Sunrise

7:00 AM

Joseph Mallord William Turner, The Blue Rigi of Lucerne at Sunrise, 1842 


Within Turner’s work he attempts to rationalize the emotions that consume us. To document the struggle of humanity with his inconsistent brush strokes and captivating colors. His use of reflection between the sky and lake not only creates nice composition but reminds the viewer to stay objective.

Initially I saw Turner as another artist on our slide test, but as flipped through his paintings I felt a connection with The Blue Rigi Lake of Lucerne at Sunrise. Something about the looming blue mass in the center sucked me in. The Rothko Effect. The blue tones appear simplistic but spew out an almost hypnotizing aura.

The mass, perhaps a mountain, represents human emotion. Turner makes the lines rough yet delicate to capture the mutability of feeling. Upon staring into the painting or more accurately as I felt the painting gazing back at me, I felt a loss. I felt grief. A grief best described in "Dejection: An Ode: by Samuel Taylor Coleridge “A Grief without a pang, void, dark, and drear, A stifled, drowsy, unimpassioned grief, Which finds no natural outlet, no relief.”

Turner captures the grief that comes and goes like the ripples of the lake. I don’t see Trevor’s death in the blue tones. Instead I see his life in the golden reflection of the lake and the rising sun. Reminding me death does not have to be morbid or depressing.

Romanticism represents a connection with nature and emotion. Turner’s painting helped me to reconnect with Trevor. Remember bits and pieces of him that I was sure I had forgotten.

The Blue Rigi Lake of Lucerne at Sunrise sparks something inside of you. Something you may want to ignore or forget, but Turner won’t let you escape. Turner forces you to feel..which sometimes is the hardest thing to do.

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