An artistic nod to the first day of summer, with a sublime work from amongst so many by the “master of light,” J.M.W. Turner. Norham Castle, Sunrise (above), painted circa 1845, shows Turner’s great leap beyond the merely representational, an approach he embraced in late career and which was quite ahead of its time. (Impressionism was still decades down the road.) The sun, always his compass, is captured here in a shapeless burst of ethereal yellow; the fortress itself is depicted by a loose patch of gorgeous blue. It’s all atmosphere, with a tranquility that penetrates the soul.
Unfinished at the time of his death, Sunrise was never exhibited in Turner’s lifetime. But even now, 172 years later, it’s hard to think of anything that could add to its perfection.