Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851 BACK

Turner was only fourteen years old when he was admitted to the Royal Academy Schools. He started his career by painting watercolors and producing mezzotints under the strong influence of John Robert Cozens's work. Then, in 1796, he launched into oil painting, working in the neoclassical manner of Richard Wilson and Nicholas Poussin, with results that found wide acclaim. One of the most prolific painters of his time, Turner travelled extensively in England, Scotland and Ireland, and also on the Continent (France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy).

The year 1802 saw his first visit to Paris, where he studied the Old Masters in the Louvre, above all Dutch seascapes and Claude Lorrain's compositions, which lastingly influenced him. Turner's first private showing, at his own house, followed in 1804. During this period, thanks to an increasing concentration on the atmospheric effects of light, his original style began to evolve, a process that culminated during trips to Italy in 1811 and 1829.

In his atmospheric depictions of shipwrecks and natural disasters, perhaps inspired by such works as The Battle of Trafalgar by Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg, who lived in Turner's neighborhood, reality and fantasy merge, and color is used to metaphorically evoke the power of natural phenomena. By abandoning form or merely adumbrating it, Turner lent color autonomy and endowed it with a puissance of its own. This achievement was to prove especially influential on twentieth century art.

Image List
The Fighting Temeraire, 1838

Peace Burial at Sea,1842

Snow Storm, 1842

Shade and Darkness, 1843

Light and Colour, 1843

Rain, Steam and Speed, 1844

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This listing of artists is not official. It is merely intended to group the artists in an easy to navigate format.

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