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Turner's gallery: the back wall

As you turn to leave the gallery, you would have come across these two paintings hanging next to the door.
Joseph Mallord William Turner, _Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the Burning Fiery Furnace,_ exhibited 1832, oil paint on mahogany, 91 x 70 cm (Tate)
Turner first exhibited this picture in 1832 alongside a passage from the Bible that told of how three figures emerged unharmed from the fiery furnace they had been thrown into for refusing to worship an idol (visible in the hazy distance.) Turner painted this to accompany a similar biblical picture by his friend George Jones, who described it as “Another instance of Turner's friendly contests in Art.”
Take a look at Jones’s version of this scene – how are they similar? How are they different?
Dido Building Carthage, or The Rise of the Carthaginian Empire 1815
This painting was related to the one hanging in middle of the wall opposite the fireplace, The Decline of the Carthaginian Empire—together they demonstrate the rise and fall of an ancient empire, which Turner saw as a historical inevitability. (This belief might have something to do with the fact that Turner saw the rise and fall of another empire—that of Napoleon’s France—in his own lifetime.) These paintings, once shown together in Turner’s gallery, are now separated: The Decline is at Tate Britain while this painting, as Turner requested, hangs at the National Gallery alongside the work of the old master painter whom he most admired: the French artist Claude Lorrain.
What do you think about Turner’s tendency to make paintings that have relationships to each other, across time, location, and subject matter? Do you think it helps us, living centuries later, to better understand Turner’s work as a whole?

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