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Bilingual Stories about Turner
[ 2009-04-24 09:22 ]


Still in his teens, Turner embarked on a series of journeys around the country, filling his sketch books and making detailed notes describing the weather, light and color of the landscapes and sky. 早在十几岁的时候,透纳就游遍了英国,并在他的速写本上详细记录了当地的天气、光线和天空色彩的变幻。

He brings his ideas back to his studio to work up into water colors and then oils, with which he just started to experiment. 他把思路带回工作室,加以整理后画成水彩画,然后再画成他当时刚刚开始尝试的油画。

But it was a tour of the Isle of Wight when he was 20, which provided him with the inspiration to produce his first major oil painting. 但20岁时到怀特岛的一次旅行激发了透纳创作第一幅重要油画作品的灵感。

Fishermen at Sea was exhibited at the royal Academy in 1796. 1796年,《海上渔夫》在皇家美术学院展出。

Turner had just started using oils three years before, so it's a remarkably accomplished work. 透纳3年前才开始用油彩作画,这对他来说已经算是很大的成就了。

The technique here is unlike that used in his water colors of the period, 在这幅画中所用到的技法与同时期他画的水彩画有所不同,

but it shows elements that would become more pronounced in his later works. 但其中所表现出来的一些特点在透纳后来的作品中变得越来越明显。

First, the subject matter. 首先是这幅画的主题。

Turner maintained a life long fascination with the frailty of man when subjected to the power and immensity of nature. 透纳一生都痴迷于一个主题:人类面对大自然时总显得如此渺小。

And then secondly, is the attention to the qualities of light. 其次,他很关注光的特点。

The white of the moon overshadows the orange of the fisherman’s lamp, and becomes something a subject of the eternal bright. 月亮的白光遮蔽了渔夫橙黄色的灯光,成为一种永恒的光辉。

Finally, the composition seeks the heightening sense of drama by drawing us into the vortex like painting. 最后,这部作品巧妙的运用月光下的漩涡,引导观众进入画面的核心,感受它所隐藏的戏剧性色彩。

And all the simmering power and technical accomplishment that Turner showed in Fishermen at Sea explodes into life in paintings like this one. 透纳在《海上渔夫》中所展现出的他那即将爆发的能量和他在技巧上的成就,都呈现在了下面这幅画中 This was exhibited in 1805, and it's called Shipwreck. 这幅画展于1805年,名叫《海难》。

Now we don't know whether Turner actually was referring into a real shipwreck or into a poem that had been published a year before by William Falconer, 如今,我们无法得知这幅画所描绘的是一场真实的海难亦或是前一年出版的诗人威廉•福克纳的诗中所描述的那场灾难。

but what we do know, is that he is exemplifying physically as well as creatively with his imagination, with the plight of these figures as they sank down into the vortex as the sea explodes all around them. 但当我们看到无力的人类在大海的咆哮中卷入漩涡深渊时,我们知道透纳在行为上和意识上都想通过这幅画来强调大自然的强大和人类的渺小。

It’s the equivalent to a disaster movie. 这就如同一部灾难片。

We empathize with the little men but the best thing about the painting is the way that Turner, using his vigorous brush, with white foam, creates the sense of a swirling enveloping sea. 这幅画中最可贵的一点是透纳用他那有力的笔触描绘出一片白雾,制造出大海在咆哮的景象。

Now at the beginning of the 19th century, the most popular and influential philosophical book around had been written in a few decades before by Edmund Burke and explored the nature of the sublime. 19世纪最受欢迎并且最有影响力的哲学著作是由埃德蒙•伯克在几十年前写的。此书揭示了崇高理论的本质。

And in this painting, Turner too, is exploring the nature of the sublime 而透纳也在这幅画中展现出了崇高理论的本质:

that all struck terror inspiring feeling when man is confronted by nature and realizes that he's quite literally, that big. 他想展示当人类面对大自然突然意识到自己的渺小时所产生的那种畏惧、打击与觉醒。

And it's a painting that your eyes can never be still,when they look at, will draw all over it. 看着这幅画,你的目光也会随着画面移动,一刻也不能停止。

And it has set the tone in many ways for a lot of Turner's later work 而且这幅画为透纳以后的许多作品奠定了基调。

These pulsating oil paintings made it abundantly clear that Turner wasn't just a water colorist. 这些油画充分证明透纳不仅仅是一个水彩画家。

He wanted to show the Academy that he was capable of producing impressive works in oil too. 他想向学院证明他也能创作出令人难忘的油画作品。

And over the next 50 years, he showed an oil painting in every annual Royal Academy exhibition 而且在此后的50年中,他每年都在皇家美术学院举办的展览上展出一幅油画作品。

At the age of 26, Turner achieved what for many artists, became their greatest professional desire,the election of the full member of the Academy. 透纳在年仅26岁时就成为皇家美术学院院士,这是许多艺术家梦寐以求的地位。

This was a prestigious and privileged position to be in, 这是一个受人尊敬的特殊地位,

not least because he could exhibit works on the hallowed walls of the Academy without fear of rejection by the dratted hanging committee. 一个重要原因是可以在学院举办的展览上展出自己的作品,而不用担心是否会遭到学院策展委员会的拒绝。 Turner was therefore established as a major British artist, 因此,透纳被公认为英国重要的艺术家。

but his ambition extended well beyond the confines of the British Isles. 但他的雄心远超越了不列颠诸岛的范围。

1802 was an exciting year for Turner, a long end of Napoleon into the wars in Europe meant he could travel abroad for the first time and see the landscapes of France and Switzerland. 1802年对于透纳来说是令人兴奋的一年。拿破仑在欧洲的战争结束了。这意味着透纳可以第一次出国旅游,到法国和瑞士游山玩水。

Napoleon’s improvements to the mountain roads meant that the Alps went out easier to navigate. 拿破仑重修了山路,使阿尔卑斯山更适宜攀登。

Turner used this to his advantage,filling his sketch books with over 400 drawings of the magnificent Alpine scenery. 得益于此,透纳又在自己的速写本上增添了400多幅阿尔卑斯风景的写生。

The books were then used as a personal reference library for his numerous water colors and oils. 后来他画许多水彩画和油画时都参照了这个速写本上的内容。

Turner benefited from the great commander's deeds in another way too. 透纳还从这位伟大军事家的行为中获得了其他好处。

Napoleon had plundered the wealth of various European countries and furnished the Louvre in Paris with new paintings and other valuable treasures. 拿破仑从欧洲各国掠夺财富,为巴黎的卢浮宫提供了新的绘画和其他价值连城的宝物。

Turner was able to see these new editions for himself. 透纳得以亲眼观赏这些艺术品。

To an English artist, still without a national gallery, the impact of viewing such a collection cannot be underestimated. 对于一个生长在没有国家美术馆的英国画家来说,参观这些藏品对他的影响非同小可。

And Turner was all struck, most significantly by the works of Claude Lorrain, the great 17th century French landscape painter who was to inspire him throughout his life. 透纳深深地被克劳德•洛兰的作品打动,这位伟大的17世纪法国风景画家将是他一生创作的启迪者。

Invigorated by his travels, Turner continued to plow his energies into his prolific landscape painting, 旅行使透纳变得精神饱满,他不断地将精力投入到大量的风景画创作当中,

but as a prominent member of the Royal Academy, he was well aware of the importance of history painting. 但作为皇家美术学院的院士,他也很明白历史画的重要性。

His solution: to bring the two together. 而他的结论是:把二者结合在一起。

Perhaps no where is the fusion of landscape and history more powerfully evoked than in this painting, first shown in 1812, and called Snow Storm: Hannibal and His Army Crossing the Alps. 这幅画于1812年第一次展出,名叫《暴风雪——汉尼拔和他的军队翻越阿尔卑斯山》。恐怕没有任何一部作品可以将风景画和历史画如此有力地结合在一起。

Turner takes his starting point, one of the great heroic mythologized journeys in history, 作为起点,透纳选择了史上最富有英雄主义神话色彩的一段旅程。

the Carthaginian general Hannibal takes his army up through Spain, with a cortege of elephants too, over the Alps into Italy where they inflicted a serious defeat on the Roman's troops, but finally are defeated and driven back to Carthage. 迦太基将军汉尼拔率领他的大军和大象从西班牙翻越阿尔卑斯山,出其不意地给罗马军队一个沉重的打击,但最终于两年后的扎马之战中战败,被迫撤回迦太基。

What we see is a moment where Hannibal is crossing the Alps, we can see the silhouette of the elephants there. 我们在画面中所看到的是汉尼拔穿越阿尔卑斯山的情景,还可以看到大象部队。

but we are also seeing the rear part of the army, the baggage carriers being pricked off by Swiss tribes. 我们也能看到这支军队的尾部,一群搬运工被瑞士部落屠杀。

So this horrendous violence is being inflicted by one part of humanity on another,这场骇人悚听的暴行是由一个民族施加给另一个民族的仇恨,

but where is the greatest threat of violence? 但最震撼的暴力从何而来呢?

Well, clearly it's through nature and it's the storm itself, 当然,我们可以明显地看出真正的暴力是暴风雪本身,

and if you just think of the title, he doesn’t call it Hannibal and His Army Crossing the Alps in a Snow Storm. 而且如果你联想一下这幅画的名称你就会知道,透纳并没有把它命名为《汉尼拔和他的军队在暴风雪中翻越阿尔卑斯山》,

He says Snow Storm: Hannibal and His Army Crossing the Alps. 而是命名为《暴风雪——汉尼拔和他的军队翻越阿尔卑斯山》。

And in fact it is just shown in percentages, less than a quarter of the painting itself deals with Hannibal and his army, and the rest is this swollen angry sky with the sun just flickering through. 事实上这从画面的比例中就显示出来,整个画面中只有不到四分之一的画幅是描绘汉尼拔和他的军队的,而其余的空间都给了昏暗的天空、躁动的云以及闪烁不定的阳光。

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