Turner Painting Loss/Seamus Heaney – Poetry News Roundup July 6th

Our final poetry news roundup of the week we take a look at the lost Turner painting of Sir Walter Scott and also the new Seamus Heaney exhibition in Dublin that opens today.

Painting of Poet and Family Could be Long Lost Work by Turner

A painting that is on show at Abbotsford, near Tweedbank in the border is causing something of a stir in the art world. The painting in question is of Sir Walter Scott, the poet and his family at Abbotsford and it is now thought to have been painted by JMW Turner.

The postcard sized painting of the poet and his family which depicts Abbotsford, the writers home from 1812 until 1832 when he died at the age of 61, has undergone scientific analysis and has now been researched and it is strongly suspected to be an unknown painting by Turner as a result of the analysis.

The painting which measures just 5.5 inches by 3.5 inches was found in a London auction house and has since been loaned to the Abbotsford Trust where it forms part of their current exhibition.

There are links between the two men; they had a business partnership which began in 1818 and tan until the poet’s death, Turner illustrated editions of Scott’s poetry and prose which were published after Scott’s death. The trust believes that the painting may well have been created by the painter when he visited Scott’s home in the summer of 1831, this fact is already well documented. They are hoping that pigment analysis and infrared imaging of the painting will shed light on what is a 200-year-old mystery. Experts who have seen the painting are positive that this is an original Turner rather than the, very good, work of a copyist.

Major New Seamus Heaney Exhibition Opens

Earlier this week a major new exhibition into the life and work of the poet Seamus Heaney was opened President Michael D Higgins in Dublin.

The exhibition which is titled “Listen Now Again” will be located in the new Bank of Ireland Cultural and Heritage Centre which is at College Green in Dublin. It will feature original manuscripts from Heaney as well as letters, notebooks and photographs. There will also be multi-media elements and even some newly commissioned artwork. Visitors will even get the opportunity to see the poets writing desk and other personal effects that the family have loaned to the exhibition.

The exhibition is to be the home of extensive archives of documents relating to the poet that the Heaney family donated tot the National Library of Ireland in 2011.

The National Library of Ireland was chosen by the poet himself as the long-term home for his manuscripts; he wanted them to remain in Ireland and made sure that they were donated in accordance with his wishes.

“Listen Now Again” opens today and will run until December 2021. It will be open Monday to Saturday and is free to the general public however visitors who are planning to visit at the weekend are advised to book a timeslot as it is expected the exhibition will be very popular.

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