Norham Castle Sunrise William Turner Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
Email: [email protected] / Phone: +44 7429 011000

There is something extremely intriguing about the Norham Castle Sunrise painting - the citrus glare of the globe (sun) against the white mist, the pale light and smoky blue stronghold all blends together beautifully.

The Earth, water and sky merges together in this painting. The spectral form of the Norham Castle is also very eye-catching and so is the animal that is drinking water in the middle, even though it may seem like it is walking on water!

It is said that Turner never regarded this painting as a finished one. However, many critics argue that it is quite the contrary because the painting is very much complete.

Also, the topographic precision of Turner’s painting is quite impressive. If one were to visit the site of the Norham Castle and River Tweed in Northumbria then one would notice that they are positioned in exactly the same manner as in the painting!

The history or backstory behind the Norham Castle Sunrise painting is quite interesting. William Turner first visited the castle when he was twenty two years old, in the year 1797.

According to Turner, the first painting that he made of the castle was the work which launched his career. Soon it became his favorite theme and he always depicted it from the Scottish side of River Tweed.

When people first lay their eyes on the Norham Castle Sunrise painting, they notice something forbidding in the silent silhouette of the castle.

The feeling is almost surreal and incredulous. Turner doesn’t just regard the castle as an impressive work of architecture but he finds its peace quite ironic (as the battles fought were long in the past) and its pale light ghostly.

Thus, the painting is quite awe-inspiring and intriguing, one that is capable of holding a person’s attention after it has been attracted.

Joseph Mallord William Turner was a popular Romanticist landscape painter from England. Also known as ‘the painter of light’, Turner is regarded highly as he elevated landscape painting to a prominent rivalling history painting.

He is best known for his oil paintings and watercolour landscape paintings.

The Norham Castle Sunrise painting by William Turner remains one of his most popular works. Painted in 1844, the painting is about the limits of national identity, ghosts and violence.

However, there are many different interpretations of the painting by both fans and critics alike. In fact, the painting is also said to be the most modern and most abstract of all of Turner’s works.