Popular painting goes back on display
The West Front of Bath Abbey by JMW Turner (1775-1851) has been in the Bath & North East Somerset Council-run art gallery’s collection for a number of years.
The watercolour can only be on public display for short periods because its colours are susceptible to light damage.
The painting shows a familiar view of Bath Abbey seen from an unusual angle.
To create this work of art Turner focused on the Gothic splendour of the church using a very low viewpoint to accentuate its scale and to reduce the size and significance of the 17th and 18th century buildings on either side.
The painting also provides a fascinating look back at Bath in times gone by as the houses built on the north and south facades of the Abbey were demolished in the 1820s.
It also shows Gainsborough’s first house in Bath which was also later demolished.
Turner first visited Bath in 1791 at the age of 16 and probably made more visits before 1796.
The West Front of Bath Abbey was one of his earlier works and was on display at the Royal Academy in 1796.
For more information about the Victoria Art Gallery call 01225 477233 or log on to www.victoriagal.org.uk
The Victoria Art Gallery, near Pulteney Bridge in Bath, is open :