The image shows a detail of a painting by Joseph Mallord William Turner. The topic is a burial at sea.

Turner. Horror and Delight

8 November 2019 – 26 January 2020

Turner. Horror and Delight

The exhibition, arranged in cooperation with the Tate Britain, focuses on Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851), the most important British landscape painter of the Romantic era, and his travels in the Swiss Alps and the Arcadian landscapes of Italy. The majority of the works on display are from the Turner collection at the Tate Gallery. In addition to the eighty paintings and watercolours contributed by that museum, the exhibition also includes some thirty works by such artists as Caspar Wolf, Claude-Joseph Vernet and John Martin on loan from international institutions.

Turner was deeply impressed when he experienced Switzerland and its mountains in 1802. This is evidenced in the way nature’s grandeur, with its elemental forces that can instil terror and dread, plays the lead in his spectacular representations of storms and other natural disasters. However, an avalanche tumbling down loses its treacherous potential when translated onto a canvas, thus allowing us to take a certain pleasure in the skilful rendering of the catastrophe, so that we experience both horror and delight.

As a contrast, the exhibition also displays the classic landscape paintings full of calm, order and beauty that Turner created in his studio on his return from Italy. After his first “Grand Tour” to the Peninsula, when he visited all the major Italian sites and captured the characteristic architecture of Rome in countless sketchbooks, he favoured Venice in his subsequent trips. The special atmosphere and the unique light of the City on the Water inspired his charming watercolours of the 1840s which formed an experimental ground for his late works, also displayed at the exhibition.

The Exhibition is under the patronage of the British Ambassador.

The main sponsors of the exhibition are the Ministry of Culture for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Stiftung Kunst³ and the LWL-Kulturstiftung. Additional support is provided by the Rudolf-August Oetker-Stiftung, the Kulturstiftung der Sparkasse Münsterland Ost and Brillux.

  • Peace - Burial at Sea

    Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851), Peace – Burial at Sea, ca. 1842, Öl auf Leinwand / oil on canvas, © Tate: Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856, © Photo: Tate, 2019

  • Morning amongst the Coniston Fells

    Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851), Morning amongst the Coniston Fells, Cumberland, ca. 1798 , Öl auf Leinwand / oil on canvas, © Tate: Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856, © Photo: Tate, 2019

  • Venice

    Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851), Venice; Bridge of Sighs, ca. 1840, Öl auf Leinwand / oil on canvas, © Tate: Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856, © Photo: Tate, 2019

Opening and Press Conference

Thursday, 7 November, 7 pm

Press Conference:
Tuesday, 5 November, 11.30 pm

Admission and opening hours

Special opening hours apply to this exhibition:

Tue – Thu 9 am to 6 pm
Fri – Sun 10 am to 8 pm
Second Friday of the month: open until midnight

Click here for combined-ticket prices.

Public tours

Public tours (60 minutes) start at the following times:

Wednesdays: 2 pm
Thursdays: 4.30 pm
Fridays: 6 pm
Saturdays and Sundays: 11 am and 2, 4 and 6 pm

Public tours are included in regular admission. Group size is limited. Tickets for public tours are
available free of charge from the cashier up to 30 minutes prior to the starting time. Maximum
two tickets per person.


Family Day
Sunday, 10 November 2019, 10 am - 6 pm

Youth night
Friday, 10 January 2020, 10 am - Midnight

BilderHören # 4. J.M.W. Turner. Airs and Atmospheres
Friday, 29 November 2019, 7.30 pm

Reading and Talk
Cees Nooteboom meets J. M. W. Turner

Monday, 16 December 2019, 7.30 pm

Lecture (in German)
Erhabenheit als touristische Ur-Emotion. Turner und der Alpentourismus

Prof. Dr. Hasso Spode, Berlin
Thursday, 16 January 2020, 7.30 pm

Reading (in German)
Burkhard Spinnen meets J.M.W. Turner. Zeitgenössisch-literarische Gedanken zum Seestück

Thursday, 23 January 2020, 7.30 pm

Booking a tour

Guided tours and workshops in German for individuals and groups (up to 20 people): regular
admission plus €50 / €75 / €100 for 60 / 90 / 120 minutes. Other languages available on request.

Free admission for infants and schoolchildren.
Workshops: €30 / €45 / €60 for 60 / 90 / 120 minutes

Please don’t hesitate to contact the Visitors’ Service for more information.


Exhibition Catalogue (German)
published by Sandsteinverlag, 27 €
Have a look inside

Audioguide (German / English) 2 €

Mitmach-Heft (German)

Digitorial in cooperation with Kunstmuseum Luzern (English/German)