First Poppy of the Year

A solitary bit of red. This reminds me of the rivalry between John Constable and J.M.W. Turner in the early 1800’s.  The rivalry broke into very public view at the Summer Exposition of the Royal Academy in 1832.  Their entries to the show were hung next to each other (in this post, Constable’s Opening of the Waterloo Bridge is above Turner’s Helvoetsluys), setting up a direct comparison in style and technique.  At the last minute (on Varnishing Day, when artists are allowed to make adjustments to their already hung work), Turner took it one step further; he added the red buoy to his seascape, thus overwhelming all the red on Constable’s canvas.

I have always though the single red buoy greatly improved Turner’s painting, even if it was done to needle Constable.