Turner was very vexed by reading a criticism of this work that it represents a mass of `soapsuds and whitewash’, and was overheard to say· `soapsuds and whitewash! What would they have? I wonder what they think the sea’s like? I wish they’d been in it.’ But today it is easier to appreciate that his freedom of handling imparts the raw energy of a storm far more authentically than if he had painted even’ drop of rain or every wave in the sea with greater degrees of verisimilitude.
The painting above is the central detail not from the Turner Snow Storm but from my attempt for demonstration purposes. Note I bent the mask even more than Turner’s. I also put Turner tied to the mask, as he was said to have been!
Snowstorm: Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps. was the first picture with which Turner printed lines of poetry in the catalogue with a credit to an ‚MS’ poems ‚Fallacies of Hope’.
Turner’s pictures were becoming arranged, compositionally, around ‚vortexes’, in which the picture emanates from a central structure in a series of sweeps, as above for example. He also experimented with new forms, such as squares and octagons. His was always a deliberate in development. The painting reveals the extent to which Turner sees the style of the brushwork itself as a factor of the impact of the painting.