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The picture “Rain, steam and speed” was painted by Turner in 1844. This time in English history is considered the era of universal enthusiasm for the railway and trains. This fate did not pass over William Turner. Contemporaries say that while traveling by rail, the artist looked out the window and was amazed. He spills his impressions on the canvas.
The painter's goal is to transfer the speed of the train to the canvas, which is why the picture is so blurry and fuzzy. The moving steam engine is most clearly visible, and its pipe is especially clearly and brightly drawn. This is done in order to show the power of technology and the new coming time. Turner wants to show the engine as a furious beast, rushing at full speed. Everything else is blurry, but guessed in a golden haze. Below, a small boat and a plowman are distinguishable.
Turner portrays them as a symbol of a retreating era, skipping forward speed. We distinguish between the bridge on the pylons and the bank of the river, on which crowded people looking at a steam locomotive. To indicate the high speed of the train, Turner depicts several white spots above the pipe, symbolizing steam that has not had time to dissipate. In the lower left corner is barely visible the figure of a hare, which at all times is a symbol of speed. But the hare is in many ways inferior to the speed of the engine.
William Turner pioneered the image of the train, popular at the time. All artists tried to give the central place of the picture to the machine itself, to draw all the little things. But Turner wants to show exactly the power and speed of the train, so the whole picture is as if veiled by a haze.
It is believed that the artist depicts a real place - the Thames River and the Maidenhead Viaduct.
In 1844, the painting was received with great enthusiasm by the young impressionists, and is now stored in the London National Gallery.
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