Mr. Turner (3)

We had a very good event this evening in which three of the actors who appeared in Mr. Turner – Martin Savage who played Benjamin Robert Haydon, Mark Stanley who played Clarkson Stansfield and Timothy Spall himself – came to the RA to talk about the work which went into the film:  the amount of background reading, two and a half years in which Timothy Spall was taught the craft of painting, the extent to which the actors were required to think themselves into their roles, the research which went into the reconstruction of the 1832 exhibition (filmed at Wentworth Woodhouse), and the task of improvisation which led to the final script.   I had not known that Turner had actually met Reynolds as well as being a huge admirer of Reynolds’s Discourses – indeed, that Reynolds had chaired the panel which led to Turner’s acceptance into the Royal Academy Schools aged fourteen and Turner attended the last of his Discourses in December 1790.   The event convinced me, if I had had any doubts, of the seriousness of the film as an exercise in research-based and intelligent, as well as intuitive, reconstruction.


One thought on “Mr. Turner (3)

  1. Charles Lubar says:

    Film was outstanding as depiction of later life of Turner and late 18th-early 19th century English life. Liked your note on Turner’s relationship with RA.

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