The much-vaunted Turner expo opens at the Grimaldi Forum on Saturday, July 6, after several long months of avid anticipation, and, believe me, it fails entirely to disappoint. Adjectives fail me.

The exhibition, in conjunction with the UK’s Tate Gallery, takes pride of place as Grimaldi Forum’s summer extravaganza, hot on the heels of Monet’s huge success of 2023, and runs until September 1.

I count myself as a huge fan of the British painter, born 1775, and of course I’m not alone. In Turner’s own words: “My business is to paint what I see, not what I know is there.” Surely, he was the first Impressionist long before the term saw the light of day

Slate installation by Sir Richard Long

Fascinatingly, or not, Turner’s undoubted masterpieces are shown alongside a smattering of contemporary art. Call me a doubter, but I do wonder if these daubings and installations would be quite so interesting without the ‘A side’ of Turner’s works. Take Sir Richard Long’s circular slate thing. It’s surely very evocative of a wet day in Wales, but I doubt I’d want to cross ave. Princesse Grace to see it on its own merits, especially as I have lived through enough drizzle in the Cambrian Mountains to last a lifetime.

The small original (left) has been blown up, showing the incredible attention to detail in one of Turner’s many shipwreck paintings

The exhibition follows various themes and inspirational sources. Wales was one of Turner’s earliest stamping grounds, and the landscapes are… sublime.

However, Moonlight, a Study at Millbank (featured image) must predate his Welsh wanderings. This epic work was painted in 1797, when Turner was just 22 years old. It is astounding and no reproduction can replace the mystical experience of standing in front of the painting ‘in real life.’

At Thursday’s press preview, I felt myself extremely privileged, thanks to the extraordinary collaboration between the Tate and our Grimaldi Forum that brought these artistic treasures here to Monaco.

There is so much more to say, but I leave it to you, discerning reader, to see it for yourself.

Before I leave you, Neil McConnon, Director of International Partnerships at the Tate, praised those at the Grimaldi Forum as a ‘dream team’ in making it all come together.

I don’t want to sound too evangelical, but please, please, indulge yourself and those you love this summer and pay a visit to Turner at the Forum. Try not to trip over the slate, and if you miss it in Monaco the show moves on to Shanghai in the autumn.

Turner’s Sublime Legacy, July 6 to September 1, Grimaldi Forum. PHOTOS: Jeff Daniels