Sir: Why does everybody assume that the setting for J. M. W. Turner's fantastic painting The Fighting Temeraire (thoughtfully analysed by Andrew Graham-Dixon) is sunset? It has always seemed to me to be the dawn. This makes geographical sense, since Rotherhithe is on the south bank of the Thames, and answers the point that such a delicate towing operation could not have taken place at dusk.
The theme of the painting is technology - the impotence of the outdated and the power of the new - and do we not frequently hear of "sunrise" industries, in this connection?
And should not the Independent, in particular. entertain this possibility - produced, as it is, on the very latest computers, from the glistening Canary Wharf skyscraper, risen from the debris of the obsolete London docks, not so far from where the Temeraire met its end?
26 JulyReuse content