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Angel in the Sun: Turner’s Vision of History

by Gerald Hanley

War is not a picturesque scene. Yet J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851), an eminent historical landscape painter of the romantic era, managed to draw beauty out of darkness without glorifying it. Scorched with symbolism and allegory, the artist’s work is featured in Angel in the Sun: Turner’s Vision of History, a lush, high-quality book compiled by Gerald Hanley, a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a professor emeritus of art history at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.