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Joseph Mallord William Turner (23 April 177519 December 1851), known in his time as William Turner, was an English
Romantic Romantic may refer to: Genres and eras * The Romantic era, an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement of the 18th and 19th centuries ** Romantic music, of that era ** Romantic poetry, of that era ** Romanticism in science, of that er ...
painter,
printmaker 300px, Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait'', etching">Self-portrait.html" ;"title="Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait">Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait'', etching, c.1630 Printmaking is the process of creating artworks by printing Printing is a process for ...
and
watercolourist Watercolor (American English) or watercolour (British English; American and British English spelling differences#-our, -or, see spelling differences), also ''aquarelle'' (French language, French, from Italian diminutive of Latin ''aqua'' "water ...
. He is known for his expressive colourisations, imaginative
landscapes A landscape is the visible features of an area of land Land is the solid surface of the Earth that is not permanently covered by water. The vast majority of human activity throughout history has occurred in land areas that support agric ...

landscapes
and turbulent, often violent
marine Marine is an adjective meaning of or pertaining to the sea or ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
paintings. He left behind more than 550 oil paintings, 2,000 watercolours, and 30,000 works on paper. He was championed by the leading English art critic
John Ruskin John Ruskin (8 February 1819 20 January 1900) was an English writer, philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, ...

John Ruskin
from 1840, and is today regarded as having elevated landscape painting to an eminence rivalling
history painting Returning the Thirty Silver Pieces'' by Rembrandt Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (, also , ; 15 July 1606 – 4 October 1669) was a Dutch Drawing, draughtsman, painter, and printmaker. An innovative and prolific Old Masters, master in thr ...
. Turner was born in
Maiden Lane, Covent Garden Maiden Lane is a street in Covent Garden Covent Garden is a district in London, on the eastern fringes of the West End, between St Martin's Lane and Drury Lane. It is associated with the former fruit-and-vegetable market in the central squ ...

Maiden Lane, Covent Garden
, London, to a modest lower-middle-class family. He lived in London all his life, retaining his
Cockney accent A Cockney is a certain type of Londoner. The term mainly refers to speakers of the distinctive Cockney dialect of English used in and around London, particularly by the Working class, working and Lower middle class, lower-middle classes; especi ...
and assiduously avoiding the trappings of success and fame. A child prodigy, Turner studied at the
Royal Academy of Arts The Royal Academy of Arts (RA) is an art institution based in Burlington House Burlington House is a building on Piccadilly in Mayfair, London. It was originally a private Palladian architecture, Palladian mansion owned by the Earl of Bu ...

Royal Academy of Arts
from 1789, enrolling when he was 14, and exhibited his first work there at 15. During this period, he also served as an architectural draftsman. He earned a steady income from commissions and sales, which due to his troubled, contrary nature, were often begrudgingly accepted. He opened his own gallery in 1804 and became professor of perspective at the academy in 1807, where he lectured until 1828. He travelled to Europe from 1802, typically returning with voluminous sketchbooks. Intensely private, eccentric and reclusive, Turner was a controversial figure throughout his career. He did not marry, but fathered two daughters, Eveline (1801–1874) and Georgiana (1811–1843), by his housekeeper Sarah Danby. He became more pessimistic and morose as he got older, especially after the death of his father, after which his outlook deteriorated, his gallery fell into disrepair and neglect, and his art intensified. In 1841, Turner rowed a boat into the
Thames The River Thames ( ), known alternatively in parts as the River Isis, is a river that flows through southern England Southern England, or the South of England, also known as the South, is an area of England consisting of the southernmos ...

Thames
so he could not be counted as present at any property in that year's census. He lived in squalor and poor health from 1845, and died in London in 1851 aged 76. Turner is buried in
Saint Paul's Cathedral St Paul's Cathedral is an Anglicanism, Anglican cathedral in London, United Kingdom, which, as the cathedral of the Bishop of London, serves as the mother church of the Diocese of London. It sits on Ludgate Hill at the highest point of the Cit ...

Saint Paul's Cathedral
, London.


Biography


Early life

Joseph Mallord William Turner was born on 23 April 1775 and baptised on 14 May. He was born in
Maiden Lane
Maiden Lane
,
Covent Garden Covent Garden is a district in London, on the eastern fringes of the West End West End most commonly refers to: * West End of London, an area of central London, England * West End theatre, a popular term for mainstream professional theatre sta ...

Covent Garden
, in London, England. His father William Turner was a barber and wig maker. His mother, Mary Marshall, came from a family of butchers. A younger sister, Mary Ann, was born in September 1778 but died in August 1783. Turner's mother showed signs of mental disturbance from 1785 and was admitted to
St Luke's Hospital for Lunatics St Luke's Hospital for Lunatics was founded in London in 1751 for the treatment of incurable pauper lunatics by a group of philanthropic apothecaries and others. It was the second public institution in London created to look after mentally ill peop ...
in Old Street in 1799 and was moved in 1800 to
Bethlem Hospital Bethlem Royal Hospital, also known as St Mary Bethlehem, Bethlehem Hospital and Bedlam, is a psychiatric hospital in London. Its famous history has inspired several horror books, films and TV series, most notably '' Bedlam'', a 1946 film with Bo ...
, a
mental asylum The lunatic asylum (alternatively mental asylum or insane asylum) was an early precursor of the modern psychiatric hospital Psychiatric hospitals, also known as mental health units or behavioral health units, are hospital A hospital is ...
, where she died in 1804. Turner was sent to his maternal uncle, Joseph Mallord William Marshall, in
Brentford Brentford is a suburban town in West London West London is the western part of London, England. The area lies north of the River Thames and extends from its historic and commercial core of Westminster and the West End of London, West End t ...

Brentford
, then a small town on the banks of the
River Thames The River Thames ( ), known alternatively in parts as the River Isis, is a river that flows through southern England Southern England, or the South of England, also known as the South, is an area of England consisting of the southernmos ...
west of London. The earliest known artistic exercise by Turner is from this period—a series of simple colourings of engraved plates from Henry Boswell's ''Picturesque View of the Antiquities of England and Wales''. Around 1786, Turner was sent to
Margate Margate is a seaside resort, seaside town in Thanet District, Thanet, Kent, England, northeast of Canterbury, which includes Cliftonville, Garlinge, Palm Bay, UK, Palm Bay and Westbrook, Kent, Westbrook. The town has been a significant mariti ...

Margate
on the north-east
Kent Kent is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publisher), William and Robert ...

Kent
coast. There he produced a series of drawings of the town and surrounding area that foreshadowed his later work. By this time, Turner's drawings were being exhibited in his father's shop window and sold for a few
shillings The shilling is a historical coin, and the name of a unit of modern currencies A currency, "in circulation", from la, currens, -entis, literally meaning "running" or "traversing" in the most specific sense is money Image:National-D ...
. His father boasted to the artist
Thomas Stothard Thomas Stothard (17 August 1755 – 27 April 1834) was an English painter, illustrator and engraver. His son, Robert T. Stothard was a painter (fl.1810): he painted the proclamation outside York Minster The Cathedral and Metropolitical Churc ...
that: "My son, sir, is going to be a painter". In 1789, Turner again stayed with his uncle who had retired to
Sunningwell Sunningwell is a village and Civil parishes in England, civil parish about south of Oxford, England. The parish includes the village of Bayworth and the eastern part of Boars Hill. The parish was part of Berkshire until the Local Government Act ...
(now part of
Oxfordshire Oxfordshire is a landlocked county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publisher), ...

Oxfordshire
). A whole
sketchbook A sketchbook is a book or pad with blank pages for Sketch (drawing), sketching and is frequently used by artists for drawing or painting as a part of their creative process. The exhibition of sketchbooks at the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard Univers ...
of work from this time in Berkshire survives as well as a
watercolour Watercolor (American English) or watercolour (British English; American and British English spelling differences#-our, -or, see spelling differences), also ''aquarelle'' (French language, French, from Italian diminutive of Latin ''aqua'' "water ...

watercolour
of
Oxford Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. In 2017, its population was estimated at 152,450. It is northwest of London, southeast of Birmingham, and northeast of Bristol. The city is home to the Unive ...

Oxford
. The use of pencil sketches on location, as the foundation for later finished paintings, formed the basis of Turner's essential working style for his whole career. Many early sketches by Turner were architectural studies or exercises in perspective, and it is known that, as a young man, he worked for several architects including
Thomas Hardwick Thomas Hardwick (1752–1829) was an English architect and a founding member of the Architects' Club in 1791. Early life and career Hardwick was born in Brentford, Middlesex Middlesex (; abbreviation: Middx) is a Historic counties of En ...
,
James Wyatt James Wyatt (3 August 1746 – 4 September 1813) was an English architect, a rival of Robert Adam in the Neoclassicism, neoclassical and Gothic revival, neo-Gothic styles. He was elected to the Royal Academy in 1785 and was its president from 1 ...

James Wyatt
and
Joseph Bonomi the Elder Joseph is a common masculine given name, derived from the Hebrew Yosef Yosef (; also transliterated as Yossef, Josef, Yoseph Tiberian Hebrew and Aramaic ''Yôsēp̄'') is a Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, No ...
. By the end of 1789, he had also begun to study under the
topographical Topography is the study of the forms and features of land surface Relief map of Sierra Nevada, Spain Terrain or relief (also topographical Topography is the study of the forms and features of land surfaces. The topography of an ...

topographical
draughtsman
Thomas Malton __NOTOC__ Thomas Malton (1748 – 7 March 1804), "the younger", was an English painter of topographical Topography is the study of the forms and features of land surfaces. The topography of an area could refer to the surface forms and fea ...
, who specialised in London views. Turner learned from him the basic tricks of the trade, copying and colouring outline prints of British castles and
abbeys An abbey is a type of monastery A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via Latin ...

abbeys
. He would later call Malton "My real master". Topography was a thriving industry by which a young artist could pay for his studies.


Career

Turner entered the
Royal Academy The Royal Academy of Arts (RA) is an art institution based in Burlington House Burlington House is a building on Piccadilly in Mayfair, London. It was originally a private Palladian architecture, Palladian mansion owned by the Earl of Bu ...

Royal Academy
of Art in 1789, aged 14, and was accepted into the academy a year later by
Sir Joshua Reynolds Sir Joshua Reynolds (16 July 1723 – 23 February 1792) was an English painter, specialising in Portrait, portraits. John Russell (art critic), John Russell said he was one of the major European painters of the 18th century. He promoted the Gra ...
. He showed an early interest in architecture, but was advised by Hardwick to focus on painting. His first watercolour, ''A View of the Archbishop's Palace, Lambeth'' was accepted for the
Royal Academy summer exhibition The Summer Exhibition is an open art exhibition satirizes the ''bourgeoisie Bourgeoisie (; ) is a polysemous French term that can mean: * a sociologically defined social class, especially in contemporary times, referring to people with ...
of 1790 when Turner was 15. As an academy probationer, Turner was taught drawing from plaster casts of antique sculptures. From July 1790 to October 1793, his name appears in the registry of the academy over a hundred times. In June 1792, he was admitted to the
life class A figure drawing is a drawing of the human form in any of its various shapes and postures using any of the drawing media. The term can also refer to the act of producing such a drawing Drawing is a form of visual art in which an artist uses in ...
to learn to draw the human body from nude models. Turner exhibited watercolours each year at the academy while painting in the winter and travelling in the summer widely throughout Britain, particularly to
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It ...

Wales
, where he produced a wide range of sketches for working up into studies and watercolours. These particularly focused on architectural work, which used his skills as a draughtsman. In 1793, he showed the watercolour titled ''The Rising Squall – Hot Wells from St Vincent's Rock Bristol'' (now lost), which foreshadowed his later climatic effects. The British writer Peter Cunningham, in his obituary of Turner, wrote that it was: "recognised by the wiser few as a noble attempt at lifting landscape art out of the tame insipidities...evinced for the first time that mastery of effect for which he is now justly celebrated". In 1796, Turner exhibited '''', his first oil painting for the academy, of a nocturnal moonlit scene of
the Needles The Needles is a row of three stacks of chalk Chalk is a soft, white, porous, sedimentary carbonate rock, a form of limestone Limestone is a common type of carbonate rock, carbonate sedimentary rock. It is composed mostly of the ...

the Needles
off the
Isle of Wight The Isle of Wight () is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publisher), Wi ...

Isle of Wight
, an image of boats in peril. Wilton said that the image was "a summary of all that had been said about the sea by the artists of the 18th century". and shows strong influence by artists such as
Claude Joseph Vernet Claude-Joseph Vernet (14 August 17143 December 1789) was a French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République fran ...
,
Philip James de Loutherbourg Philip James de Loutherbourg RA (31 October 174011 March 1812), whose name is sometimes given in the French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French ...
,
Peter Monamy Peter Monamy was an English people, English Marine art, marine painting, painter who lived between 1681 and 1749. Early life and family Peter Monamy was baptised at the church of St Botolph's Aldgate, St Botolph's-without-Aldgate, London, Engla ...

Peter Monamy
and Francis Swaine, who was admired for his moonlight marine paintings. The image was praised by contemporary critics and founded Turner's reputation as both an oil painter of maritime scenes. Turner travelled widely in Europe, starting with France and Switzerland in 1802 and studying in
the Louvre The Louvre ( ), or the Louvre Museum ( ), is the world's most-visited museum, and a historic landmark in Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of Fr ...
in Paris in the same year. He made many visits to
Venice Venice ( ; it, Venezia ; vec, Venesia or ) is a city in northeastern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of delimited by the and surrounding ...

Venice
. Important support for his work came from Walter Ramsden Fawkes of Farnley Hall, near
Otley Otley is a market town and civil parishes in England, civil parish at a bridging point on the River Wharfe, in the City of Leeds metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire, England. Historic counties of England, Historically a part of the West Ridi ...
in Yorkshire, who became a close friend of the artist. Turner first visited Otley in 1797, aged 22, when commissioned to paint watercolours of the area. He was so attracted to Otley and the surrounding area that he returned to it throughout his career. The stormy backdrop of '' Hannibal Crossing The Alps'' is reputed to have been inspired by a storm over
the Chevin The Chevin is the name given to the ridge on the south side of Wharfedale in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, overlooking the market town of Otley, and often known as Otley Chevin. Etymology The origins of the name ''Chevin'' are uncertain; the e ...
in Otley while he was staying at Farnley Hall. Turner was a frequent guest of
George O'Brien Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont George O'Brien Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont Royal Society#Fellows, FRS (18 December 1751 – 11 November 1837) of Petworth House in Sussex and Orchard Wyndham in Somerset, was a British Peerage of Great Britain, peer, a major landowner and a gr ...
, at
Petworth House of Percy, of three quarters: 1st: ''Or, a lion rampant azure'' (Percy modern/ Brabant); 2nd: ''Gules, three lucies hauriant argent'' (de Lucy); 3rd: ''Azure, five fusils conjoined in fess or'' (Percy ancient). Marshalling as shown sculpted on o ...
in West Sussex and painted scenes that Egremont funded taken from the grounds of the house and of the Sussex countryside, including a view of the Chichester Canal. Petworth House still displays a number of paintings.


Later life

As Turner grew older, he became more eccentric. He had few close friends except for his father, who lived with him for 30 years and worked as his studio assistant. His father's death in 1829 had a profound effect on him, and thereafter he was subject to bouts of
depression Depression may refer to: Mental health * Depression (mood), a state of low mood and aversion to activity * Mood disorders characterized by depression are commonly referred to as simply ''depression'', including: ** Dysthymia ** Major depressive ...
. He never married but had a relationship with an older widow, Sarah Danby. He is believed to have been the father of her two daughters Evelina Dupois and Georgiana Thompson. Turner formed a relationship with Sophia Caroline Booth after her second husband died, and he lived for about 18 years as "Mr Booth" in her house in
Chelsea Chelsea or Chelsey may refer to: Places Australia * Chelsea, Victoria Canada * Chelsea, Nova Scotia * Chelsea, Quebec United Kingdom * Chelsea, London, an affluent area of South West London, bounded to the south by the River Thames ** Chelsea ...
. Turner was a habitual user of snuff; in 1838,
Louis Philippe I Louis Philippe (6 October 1773 – 26 August 1850) was King of the French The monarchs of the Kingdom of France The Kingdom of France ( fro, Reaume de France, frm, Royaulme de France, french: link=no, Royaume de France) was a medieva ...

Louis Philippe I
,
King of the French The monarchs of the Kingdom of France ruled from the establishment of the West Francia, Kingdom of the West Franks in 843 until the fall of the Second French Empire in 1870, with several interruptions. Between the period from King Charles the ...
presented a gold
snuff box ''Snuff Box'' (sometimes referred to as ''Berry & Fulcher's Snuff Box'') is a Television in the United Kingdom, British Black comedy, dark British sitcom, sitcom set in London. Starring and written by Matt Berry and Rich Fulcher with additional ...
to him. Of two other snuffboxes, an
agate Agate is a common rock formation, consisting of chalcedony and quartz as its primary components, consisting of a wide variety of colors. Agates are primarily formed within Volcanic rock, volcanic and Metamorphic rock, metamorphic rocks. The orn ...

agate
and silver example bears Turner's name, and another, made of wood, was collected along with his spectacles, magnifying glass and card case by an associate housekeeper. Turner formed a short but intense friendship with the artist Edward Thomas Daniell. The painter David Roberts wrote of him that, "He adored Turner, when I and others doubted, and taught me to see & to distinguish his beauties over that of others ... the old man really had a fond & personal regard for this young clergyman, which I doubt he ever evinced for the other". Daniell may have supplied Turner with the spiritual comfort he needed after the deaths of his father and friends, and to "ease the fears of a naturally reflective man approaching old age". After Daniell's death in
Lycia Lycia ( Lycian: 𐊗𐊕𐊐𐊎𐊆𐊖 ''Trm̃mis''; el, Λυκία, ; tr, Likya) was a geopolitical region in Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula ...
at the age of 38, he told Roberts he would never form such a friendship again. Before leaving for the Middle East, Daniell commissioned his portrait from
John Linnell John Sidney Linnell (born June 12, 1959) is an American musician, known primarily as one half of the Brooklyn Brooklyn () is a Boroughs of New York City, borough of New York City, coextensive with Kings County, in the U.S. state of New York ( ...
. Turner had previously refused to sit for the artist, and it was difficult to get his agreement to be portrayed. Daniell positioned the two men opposite each other at dinner, so that Linnell could observe his subject carefully and portray his likeness from memory. Turner died of
cholera Cholera is an infection An infection is the invasion of an organism's body by , their multiplication, and the reaction of tissues to the infectious agents and the s they produce. An infectious disease, also known as a transmissible disea ...

cholera
at the home of Sophia Caroline Booth, in
Cheyne Walk Cheyne Walk is an historic road, in Chelsea, London Chelsea is an affluent area in west 250px, A compass rose with west highlighted in black West or Occident is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass The points of ...
in Chelsea, on 19 December 1851. He is buried in
St Paul's Cathedral St Paul's Cathedral is an Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Jun ...

St Paul's Cathedral
, where he lies near the painter Sir
Joshua Reynolds Sir Joshua Reynolds (16 July 1723 – 23 February 1792) was an English painter, specialising in Portrait, portraits. John Russell (art critic), John Russell said he was one of the major European painters of the 18th century. He promoted the Gra ...

Joshua Reynolds
. Apparently his last words were "The Sun(or Son?) is God", though this may be apocryphal. Turner's friend, the architect
Philip Hardwick Philip Hardwick (15 June 1792 in London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city stands on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at ...

Philip Hardwick
, the son of his old tutor, was in charge of making the funeral arrangements and wrote to those who knew Turner to tell them at the time of his death that, "I must inform you, we have lost him." Other executors were his cousin and chief mourner at the funeral, Henry Harpur IV (benefactor of Westminster – now Chelsea & Westminster – Hospital), Revd. Henry Scott Trimmer, George Jones RA and Charles Turner ARA.


Art


Style

Turner's talent was recognised early in his life. Financial independence allowed Turner to innovate freely; his mature work is characterised by a chromatic palette and broadly applied atmospheric washes of paint. According to David Piper's ''The Illustrated History of Art'', his later pictures were called "fantastic puzzles". Turner was recognised as an artistic genius; the English art critic
John Ruskin John Ruskin (8 February 1819 20 January 1900) was an English writer, philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, ...

John Ruskin
described him as the artist who could most "stirringly and truthfully measure the moods of Nature". Turner's work drew criticism from contemporaries, in particular from Sir George Beaumont, a landscape painter and fellow member of the Royal Academy, who described his paintings as "blots". Turner's imagination was sparked by shipwrecks, fires (including the
burning of Parliament The Palace of Westminster The Palace of Westminster serves as the meeting place for both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the P ...
in 1834, an event which Turner witnessed first-hand, and transcribed in a series of watercolour sketches), and natural phenomena such as sunlight, storm, rain, and fog. He was fascinated by the violent power of the sea, as seen in ''Dawn after the Wreck'' (1840) and ''
The Slave Ship ''The Slave Ship'', originally titled ''Slavers Throwing overboard the Dead and Dying—Typhon coming on'', is a painting by the British artist J. M. W. Turner, first exhibited at The Royal Academy of Arts in 1840. Measuring in oil An ...
'' (1840). Turner's major venture into printmaking was the ''
Liber Studiorum ''Liber Studiorum'' () is a collection of prints by J. M. W. Turner. The collected works included seventy-one prints that he worked on and printed from 1807 to 1819. For the production of the prints, Turner created the etching , who is believed ...
'' (Book of Studies), seventy prints that he worked on from 1806 to 1819. The ''Liber Studiorum'' was an expression of his intentions for landscape art. The idea was loosely based on
Claude Lorrain Claude Lorrain (; born Claude Gellée , called ''le Lorrain'' in French; traditionally just Claude in English; c. 1600 – 23 November 1682) was a French painter, draughtsman and etcher , who is believed to have been the first to apply the t ...

Claude Lorrain
's ''
Liber Veritatis The ''Liber Veritatis'', meaning ''Book of Truth'' in Latin, is a book of drawings recording his completed paintings made by Claude Lorrain, known in English as "Claude". Claude was a landscape painter in Rome, who began keeping this record in ...
'' (Book of Truth), where Claude had recorded his completed paintings; a series of print copies of these drawings, by then at
Devonshire House Devonshire House in Piccadilly Piccadilly () is a road in the City of Westminster City of Westminster is an Inner London, inner London City status in the United Kingdom, city and London boroughs, borough. It has been the capital city, ...

Devonshire House
, had been a huge publishing success. Turner's plates were meant to be widely disseminated, and categorised the genre into six types: Marine, Mountainous, Pastoral, Historical, Architectural, and Elevated or Epic Pastoral. His printmaking was a major part of his output, and a museum is devoted to it, the Turner Museum in
Sarasota Sarasota () is a city in Sarasota County Sarasota County is located in Southwest Florida on the Gulf Coast. As of the 2010 United States Census, 2010 US Census, the population was 379,448. Its county seat is Sarasota, Florida, Sarasota (with a ...
, Florida, founded in 1974 by Douglass Montrose-Graem to house his collection of Turner prints. His early works, such as ''
Tintern Abbey Tintern Abbey ( cy, Abaty Tyndyrn ) was founded on 9 May 1131 by Walter de Clare, Lord of Chepstow. It is situated adjacent to the village of Tintern in Monmouthshire, on the Welsh bank of the River Wye, which at this location forms the borde ...
'' (1795), stay true to the traditions of English landscape. In '' Hannibal Crossing the Alps'' (1812), an emphasis on the destructive power of nature has already come into play. His distinctive style of painting, in which he used watercolour technique with oil paints, created lightness, fluency, and ephemeral atmospheric effects. In Turner's later years, he used oils ever more transparently and turned to an evocation of almost pure light by use of shimmering colour. A prime example of his mature style can be seen in '''', where the objects are barely recognisable. The intensity of hue and interest in evanescent light not only placed Turner's work in the vanguard of English painting but exerted an influence on art in France; the
Impressionists Impressionism is a 19th-century art movement characterized by relatively small, thin, yet visible brush strokes, open Composition (visual arts), composition, emphasis on accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities (often accentuating the ...

Impressionists
, particularly
Claude Monet Oscar-Claude Monet (, , ; 14 November 1840 – 5 December 1926) was a French painter and founder of impressionist Impressionism is a 19th-century art movement characterized by relatively small, thin, yet visible brush strokes, open c ...
, carefully studied his techniques. He is also generally regarded as a precursor of abstract painting. High levels of volcanic ash (from the eruption of
Mount Tambora Mount Tambora, or Tomboro, is an active stratovolcano in West Nusa Tanagra, Sumbawa, Indonesia in one of the Lesser Sunda Islands The Lesser Sunda Islands ( id, Kepulauan Nusa Tenggara "southeastern archipelago" or "lesser sunda archip ...
) in the atmosphere during 1816, the " Year Without a Summer", led to unusually spectacular sunsets during this period, and were an inspiration for some of Turner's work. John Ruskin said that an early patron,
Thomas MonroThomas Monro may refer to: * Thomas Monro (art collector) (1759–1833), British art collector, patron and physician * Thomas Monro (writer) (1764–1815), English cleric and writer * Thomas Kirkpatrick Monro (1865–1958), professor of medicin ...
, Principal Physician of
Bedlam Bedlam, a word for an environment of insanity, is a term that may refer to: Places * Bedlam, North Yorkshire, a village in England * Bedlam, Shropshire, a small hamlet in England * Bedlam Theatre, a student-run theatre in Edinburgh * Bethlem Roy ...
, and a collector and amateur artist, was a significant influence on Turner's style:
His true master was Dr Monro; to the practical teaching of that first patron and the wise simplicity of method of watercolour study, in which he was disciplined by him and companioned by his friend Girtin, the healthy and constant development of the greater power is primarily to be attributed; the greatness of the power itself, it is impossible to over-estimate.
Together with a number of young artists, Turner was able, in Monro's London house, to copy works of the major topographical draughtsmen of his time and perfect his skills in drawing. But the curious atmospherical effects and illusions of
John Robert Cozens John Robert Cozens (1752 – 14 December 1797) was a British drawing, draftsman and Painting, painter of romantic watercolour Landscape painting, landscapes. Cozens executed watercolors in curious atmospheric effects and illusions which had an ...
's watercolours, some of which were present in Monro's house, went far further than the neat renderings of topography. The solemn grandeur of his Alpine views were an early revelation to the young Turner and showed him the true potential of the watercolour medium, conveying mood instead of information.


Materials

Turner experimented with a wide variety of pigments. He used formulations like
carmine Carmine ( or ), also called cochineal (for the insect from which it is extracted), cochineal extract, crimson lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land Land is the solid surface of Earth t ...

carmine
, despite knowing that they were not long-lasting, and against the advice of contemporary experts to use more durable pigments. As a result, many of his colours have now faded. Ruskin complained at how quickly his work decayed; Turner was indifferent to posterity and chose materials that looked good when freshly applied. By 1930, there was concern that both his oils and his watercolours were fading.


Gallery

File:Joseph Mallord William Turner - Clare Hall and King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, from the Banks of the River Cam - Google Art Project.jpg, Clare Hall and Chapel, Cambridge, from the Banks of the River Cam, 1793, watercolour File:Joseph Mallord William Turner 024.jpg, ''Calais Pier'', 1801, oil on canvas,
National Gallery The National Gallery is an art museum An art museum is a building or space for the display of art, usually from the museum's own Collection (artwork), collection. It might be in public or private ownership and may be accessible to all or h ...
, London File:Joseph Mallord William Turner - Dutch Boats in a Gale - WGA23163.jpg, ''Dutch Boats in a Gale'', 1801, oil on canvas. For his painting Turner drew inspiration from the art of
Willem van de Velde the Younger Willem van de Velde the Younger (18 December 1633 (baptised)6 April 1707) was a Dutch Republic, Dutch marine painter, the son of Willem van de Velde the Elder, who also specialised in maritime art. Biography Willem van de Velde was baptised on 1 ...
File:Joseph Mallord William Turner 081.jpg, '' Snow Storm: Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps'', 1812, oil on canvas,
Tate Britain Tate Britain, known from 1897 to 1932 as the National Gallery of British Art and from 1932 to 2000 as the Tate Gallery, is an art museum on Millbank in the City of Westminster City of Westminster is an Inner London, inner London City status ...

Tate Britain
File:DortorDordrecht.jpg, '' Dort or Dordrecht: The Dort packet-boat from Rotterdam becalmed'', 1818, oil on canvas, Yale Center for British Art File:Joseph Mallord William Turner - The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, 16 October 1834 - 1942.647 - Cleveland Museum of Art.jpg , The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, 16 October 1834, oil on canvas (Cleveland Museum of Art) File:Joseph Mallord William Turner, English - The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, October 16, 1834 - Google Art Project.jpg, ''The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons'', 1835, oil on canvas, Philadelphia Museum of Art File:Wreckers Coast of Northumberland Joseph Mallord William Turner.jpeg, ''Wreckers Coast of Northumberland'', 1836, oil on canvas, Yale Center for British Art File:Chicago art inst turner vallee aoste.JPG, ''Valley of Aosta: Snowstorm, Avalanche and Thunderstorm'', 1836–37, oil on canvas, Art Institute of Chicago File:The Fighting Temeraire, JMW Turner, National Gallery.jpg, ''The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her last berth to be broken up'', 1838, oil on canvas, National Gallery, London File:Slave-ship.jpg, ''
The Slave Ship ''The Slave Ship'', originally titled ''Slavers Throwing overboard the Dead and Dying—Typhon coming on'', is a painting by the British artist J. M. W. Turner, first exhibited at The Royal Academy of Arts in 1840. Measuring in oil An ...
'', 1840, oil on canvas, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston File:Joseph Mallord William Turner - Snow Storm - Steam-Boat off a Harbour's Mouth - WGA23178.jpg, ''Snow Storm: Steam-Boat off a Harbour's Mouth'', 1842, oil on canvas, Tate Britain File:Joseph Mallord William Turner, The Evening of the Deluge, 1843, NGA 46064.jpg, ''The Evening of the Deluge'', 1843, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. File:Turner - Rain, Steam and Speed - National Gallery file.jpg, '''', 1844, oil on canvas, National Gallery, London File:Joseph Mallord William Turner - Norham Castle, Sunrise - WGA23182.jpg, ''Norham Castle, Sunrise'', 1845, oil on canvas, Tate Britain


Legacy

Turner left a small fortune which he hoped would be used to support what he called "decayed artists". He planned an almshouse at Twickenham with a gallery for some of his works. His will was contested and in 1856, after a court battle, his first cousins, including Thomas Price Turner, received part of his fortune. Another portion went to the Royal Academy of Arts, which occasionally awards students the Turner Medal. His finished paintings were bequeathed to the British nation, and he intended that a special gallery would be built to house them. This did not happen due to disagreement over the final site. Twenty-two years after his death, the British Parliament passed an act allowing his paintings to be lent to museums outside London, and so began the process of scattering the pictures which Turner had wanted to be kept together. One of the greatest collectors of his work was Henry Vaughan (art collector), Henry Vaughan who when he died in 1899 owned more than one hundred watercolours and drawings by Turner and as many prints. His collection included examples of almost every type of work on paper the artist produced, from early topographical drawings and atmospheric landscape watercolours, to brilliant colour studies, literary vignette illustrations and spectacular exhibition pieces. It included nearly a hundred proofs of
Liber Studiorum ''Liber Studiorum'' () is a collection of prints by J. M. W. Turner. The collected works included seventy-one prints that he worked on and printed from 1807 to 1819. For the production of the prints, Turner created the etching , who is believed ...
and twenty-three drawings connected with it. It was an unparalled collection that comprehensively represented the diversity, imagination and technical inventiveness of Turner's work throughout his sixty-year career. Vaughan bequeathed the most of his Turner collection to British and Irish public galleries and museums, stipulating that the collections of Turner's watercolours should be ‘exhibited to the public all at one time, free of charge and only in January’, demonstrating an awareness of conservation which was unusual at the time.Herrmann, L. (23 September 2004). Vaughan, Henry (1809–1899), art collector. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 31 March 2021, from https://www.oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/odnb-9780198614128-e-28131 In 1910, the main part of the Turner Bequest, which includes unfinished paintings and drawings, was rehoused in the Duveen Turner Wing at the National Gallery of British Art (now
Tate Britain Tate Britain, known from 1897 to 1932 as the National Gallery of British Art and from 1932 to 2000 as the Tate Gallery, is an art museum on Millbank in the City of Westminster City of Westminster is an Inner London, inner London City status ...

Tate Britain
). In 1987, a new wing at the Tate, the Clore Gallery, was opened to house the Turner bequest, though some of the most important paintings remain in the
National Gallery The National Gallery is an art museum An art museum is a building or space for the display of art, usually from the museum's own Collection (artwork), collection. It might be in public or private ownership and may be accessible to all or h ...
in contravention of Turner's condition that they be kept and shown together. Increasingly paintings are lent abroad, ignoring Turner's provision that they remain constantly and permanently in Turner's Gallery. St. Mary's Church, Battersea added a commemorative stained glass window for Turner, between 1976 and 1982. St Paul's Cathedral, Royal Academy of Arts and the Victoria & Albert Museum all hold statues representing him. A portrait by Cornelius Varley with his patent graphic telescope (Sheffield Museums & Galleries) was compared with his death mask (National Portrait Gallery, London) by Kelly Freeman at Dundee University 2009–10 to ascertain whether it really depicts Turner. The City of Westminster unveiled a memorial plaque at the site of his birthplace at 21 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden 2 June 1999. Selby Whittingham founded The Turner Society at London and Manchester in 1975. After the society endorsed the Tate Gallery's Clore Gallery wing (on the lines of the Duveen wing of 1910), as the solution to the controversy of what should be done with the Turner Bequest, Selby Whittingham resigned and founded the Independent Turner Society. The Tate created the prestigious annual Turner Prize art award in 1984, named in Turner's honour, and 20 years later the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours founded the Winsor & Newton Turner Watercolour Award. A major exhibition, "Turner's Britain", with material (including ''The Fighting Temeraire'') on loan from around the globe, was held at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery from 7 November 2003 to 8 February 2004. In 2005, Turner's ''The Fighting Temeraire'' was voted Britain's "greatest painting" in a public poll organised by the BBC.


Portrayal

Leo McKern played Turner in ''The Sun is God'', a 1974 Thames Television production directed by Michael Darlow. The programme aired on 17 December 1974, during the Turner Bicentenary Exhibition in London. British filmmaker Mike Leigh wrote and directed ''Mr. Turner'', a biopic of Turner's later years, released in 2014. The film starred Timothy Spall as Turner, Dorothy Atkinson, Marion Bailey and Paul Jesson, and premiered in competition for the ''Palme d'Or'' at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, with Spall taking the award for Best Actor. The Bank of England announced that a portrait of Turner, with a backdrop of ''The Fighting Temeraire'', would appear on the £20 note beginning in 2020. It is the first £20 Banknotes of the pound sterling, British banknote printed on polymer. It came into circulation on Thursday 20 February 2020.


Notes


References


Sources

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Further reading

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See also

List of paintings by J. M. W. Turner, List of paintings by J.M.W. Turner


External links

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The Turner SocietyTurner & the 1834 Parliament Fire – UK Parliament Living Heritage

Christie's Videos – ''Giudecca, La Donna della Salute'' and ''San Giorgio'' Joseph Mallord William Turner, RA


* [http://www.sothebys.com/video/privateview/L10033/index-turner.html Sotheby's Videos – ''Modern Rome Campo Vaccino'' and ''The condition of Modern Rome, Campo Vaccino'' J. M. W. Turner, RA]
J.M.W. Turner exhibition catalogs

Web site of the Tate Turner Collection, includes the "Turner Bequest" of over 300 Oil paintings and over 30,000 sketches. The catalogue holds records of over 40,000 works by Turner
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{{DEFAULTSORT:Turner, J. M. W. J. M. W. Turner, 1775 births 1851 deaths 18th-century English painters 19th-century English painters British marine artists British landscape painters Burials at St Paul's Cathedral Deaths from cholera English landscape painters English male painters English printmakers English romantic painters English watercolourists People from Covent Garden Royal Academicians Tate galleries Rother Valley artists