Joseph William Turner’s Buttermere Lake: A Shower, there is a dark ambiance to the painting, yet at the same time it is so bright. As I like to think about it the extremely dark blues and blacks is contrasted to what looks like a bright rainbow. In The Tables Turned, I was reminded of this painting in the third and fourth stanza Woodsworth writes
“Books! ’tis a dull and endless strife:
Come, hear the woodland Linnet,
How sweet his music; on my life
There’s more of wisdom in it.
And hark! how blithe the Throstle sings!
And he is no mean preacher:
Come forth into the light of things,
Let Nature be your teacher.”
In Turner’s painting, two individuals look like they are traveling by boat towards a lit up city, but are being guided by nature(rainbow and water). In the poem we are told to abandon books and let nature guide us to new knowledge and experience, hence “Let Nature be your teacher”. The misty mountains surround an opening towards the middle of the painting, it looks like a very light blue as if there is more to discover out in the world. Besides reading and looking at books, why not go out into nature and let it guide you to new wonders?
Although the painting is extremely dark, there is an endless feeling of hope. Even in the darkest of places there will always be a bright light at the end of the tunnel.