The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the first to unite the series of four whaling scenes made by the British landscapist Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851) near the end of his career. The quartet of paintings - comprising The Met's "Whalers" and its three companion paintings in the Tate, London - were among the last seascapes exhibited by Turner, for whom marine subjects were a creative mainstay. Shown in pairs at the Royal Academy in London in 1845 and 1846, the whaling canvases confounded critics with their "tumultuous surges" of brushwork and color, which threatened to obscure the motif, yet the pictures earned admiration for the brilliance and vitality of their overall effects.

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