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Fact of the day
Constable and Turner: how a red buoy won the war of landscapes
In 1832, the paintings of two famous artists, who had a quarrel a year before because their paintings had been hung side-by-side, ended up on the same wall of the hall at the Royal Academy of arts. Constable's Opening of Waterloo Bridge was a complex work which had been in progress for ten years. Turner's Helvoetsluys seemed to be a simpler seascape. Shortly before the opening, Constable was adding final touches to his piece. Turner walked in, looked at both paintings, and then added one detail to his one – a little red buoy swaying on the waves. The bright spot instantly attracted the attention of the audience. Constable complained that Turner had been in and 'fired a gun'. 180 years after the first conflict of these landscape artists, their "controversial" paintings were hung side-by-side again.
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