Turner & Constable & their Contemporaries: Sketching from Nature

01 Mar - 29 Jun 14

View of Richmond Hill and Bridge, exhibited 1808, Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851), Tate. Photo ©Tate, London 2013.

View of Richmond Hill and Bridge, exhibited 1808, Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851), Tate. Photo ©Tate, London 2013.

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, artists including JMW Turner and John Constable took their canvases outdoors and began drawing and painting landscapes in the open air, instead of in their studios.

Turner and Constable: Sketching from Nature brings together more than 60 works by Turner, Constable and their contemporaries, showing the different techniques each artist used to capture views of the landscapes of the time, both in Britain and abroad.

Oil sketches, watercolours and finished oil paintings from the Tate collection will be on show, showing picturesque scenes, rural nature, cities, rivers and coasts.

The practice of painting in the open air was new, daring and different at the time and the exhibition uses works by artistic rivals Turner and Constable, as well as George Stubbs, John Sell Cotman, John Crome and Francis Danby, among others, to show the differences and similarities between each artist’s methods.

The practice and techniques of sketching are explored and sometimes surprising connections are made between the artists involved.

Turner and Constable: Sketching from Nature is on show at the Laing Art Gallery from 1 March 2014 until 29 June 2014.  

The exhibition is curated by Emeritus Professor Michael Rosenthal of the University of Warwick, one of the world’s foremost experts on the art of this period, Anne Lyles who is a leading authority on the art of John Constable and curated Constable: The Great Landscapes at Tate Britain in 2006 and Dr Steven Parissien Director of Compton Verney and editor of the accompanying illustrated book, produced by Tate Publishing.

Exhibition organised by Compton Verney.

Read a curator's blog about Turner & Constable here


An entry fee applies to this exhibition. Tickets are available online (booking fee applies) or in person from the Laing Art Gallery from 25 January. 

Full price: £7

Family ticket (1 adult): £10

Family ticket (2 adults): £15.50

Senior citizens: £6.50

Concessions*: £5.50

Membership discounts**: £3.50

Multi-visit ticket: £12.50 (or £10.50 with membership discount)

Children under 12: Free


*Concessions apply to 12-18 year olds, students, registered unemployed, disabled people (with free entry for one carer). Proof of age or status is required. 

**Membership discounts apply to Friends of the Laing, Laing Exhibition Partners, Art Fund Members.