The text printed below is a description of an early painting (Dunstanborough Castle, 1798) by William M. Turner (1775 - 1851) by Jack Lindsay (1985) in his biography Turner - The Man and His Art. The book is located in Wilhelm Salber's private library. The text passage (p. 52) is marked with an "X" in pencil at the top left of the book page. The description of the pictures by Jack Lindsay reads like the outline of a morphological psychology.

Nature on the move

Nature is no longer a static system where the parts are neatly separated from each other. It is understood as something that is constantly in motion and change. With hard contrasts as well as overarching harmonies. This restlessness inherent in nature, which is simultaneously effective with a search for stability and mediation, causes an incessant eruption of conflicting opposites and contrasts.

Dunstanborough Castle (1798) by W.M. Turner

Here we encounter the angular cliff as well as the softening light, desert and fertility, horror and joy, near and far. Here, light is an active principle that relates the parts to each other and not a medium that passively lays itself on the objects.

The receding of surfaces and colours into the apparent background becomes the centre of light, both as a stabilising reference point and as the core of a disquieting force. Everything flows into it, but is also thrown out of it. The balance between forces striving outwards and inwards is caught by a flash of coherent vision, so that all parts of the scene come together in a pattern that is perceived as rich. Yet the whole is in transition, on the way to new conflict and new solution. (translation D.B.)