Here we have a painting of Calais Pier by the Romantic artist J.M.W. Turner is a perfect example of what art critic of the time John Ruskin called Turner’s “colossal power”.
We are presented with a storm-swept scene from 1801 that is full of elemental danger and drama that is also a recollection of the young artist’s first foreign trip. The ships being flung about by wind and sea mark the insignificance of all human endeavor in the face of nature’s power.
The shapes of Turner’s melting forms could be related to not only Romanticism but also to the dramatic movement of the earlier Baroque period.
J.M.W. Turner: Calais Pier is in the National Gallery in London, United Kingdom