Turner's Slave Ship: The Victims Of Empire

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What is the main argument of the article/book chapter/document? What did you find interesting or noteworthy? What questions, if any did your reading raise? I believe that the main argument of Albert Boime’s article “Turner’s Slave Ship: The Victims of Empire,” was to demonstrated how the meaning of Turner’s painting change depending of the context. The Slave Ship was a representation of the notorious case of the slave ship Zong in 1783, where one hundred and thirsty two slaves had been thrown alive into the sea from English slaver. I was impressed by the fact that even thirty-seven years later from its initial reception, The Slave Ship continued to cause controversy and question the relationship between art’s nature and its subject matter. On a chronological order,…show more content…
First, the negative critics during its exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1840. Turner’s painting was perceived as being a pictorial oddity. The dramatic effect due to the colorful sky and water, the flouting chains and even the title of the painting which was in present tense — while the picture itself shows the action described in the title as having already taken place— were cause of negative criticism. Nevertheless, the painting’s representation of the horrors of slave trade accelerated the union of the abolitionist and helped to steer through Parliament an act “for the abolition of slavery throughout the British colonies.” Turner’s painting was still not very welcome for the critics. In fact, it was constantly compared with Biard’s painting, The Slave Trade, which showed slaves as “products” being marked by their sellers. The pictures shows a slave women, who’s being marked like a cow with a face of sorrow and suffering. This painting was prefer because “it appeared less stage, more authentically real and less obsesses with creating an effect.” Still, this painting was also criticized because, in Thackeray’s opinion, meant to appeal to an audience motivated by guilt and pity. In

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