The main paintings I wanted to see in The National Gallery was the paintings by J M W Turner and Claude Lorrain the main painting being Turner's 'Dido Building Carthage'. It was amazing to study their paintings up close and actually see the texture of the canvas rather than just see them in a book. In 'Dido Building Carthage' Turner has been able to take Carthage during antiquity and put his own spin on the city and create a new landscape more complex than the original city. I have to say I was moved more by Turner's painting 'The Decline of the Carthaginian Empire' more than 'Dido Building Carthage' as it just seemed to have a more intense light however both paintings are incredible. One painting in the National Gallery that amazed me was Joseph Wright of Derby’s ‘An experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump’. The painting had an incredible sense of realism in terms of its detail and how realistic he painted the light and shadow and people’s faces. I hadn't seen the painting before but I like this style of lighting both in paintings and portrait photography, it is like the Caravaggio style of lighting a subject with hard light creating hard shadows that blend into darkness. This is my favorite style of portrait lighting. I also saw his painting ‘An Iron Forge’ in Tate Britain and that was equally impressive.
J M W Turner 'Dido Building Carthage'
Joseph Wright of Derby 'An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump'
Joseph Wright of Derby 'An Iron Forge'