Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851) travelled widely in Europe, and his landscapes became increasingly Romantic, with the subject often transformed in scale and flooded with brilliant, hazy light.
Many later works anticipate Impressionism, for example Rain, Steam and Speed in 1844 (National Gallery, London).
A precocious talent, Turner went to the Royal Academy schools in 1789. In 1792 he made the first of several European tours, from which numerous water-colour sketches survive.
His early oil paintings show Dutch influence, but by the 1800s he had begun to paint landscapes in the grand manner, reflecting the styles of Claude Lorrain and Richard Wilson. His use of colour was enhanced by trips to Italy (1819, 1828, 1835,1840), and his brushwork be
came increasingly free.
Early in his career he was encouraged by the portraitist Thomas Lawrence and others, but he failed to achieve much recognition and became a reclusive figure. Much later he was championed by the critic John Ruskin in his book Modern Painters 1843.
Many of Turner's most dramatic works are set in Europe or at sea, for example Snowstorm: Hannibal Crossing the Alps in 1812 (Tate Gallery, London), The Slave Ship in 1839 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts), and Shipwreck in 1805 (Tate Gallery). He was also devoted to literary themes and mythologies, for example Ulysses Deriding Polyphemus (Tate Gallery).
In 1987 the Qore Gallery extension to the Tate Gallery, London, was opened to display the collection of his works he left to the nation.
Why is J. M. W. Turner famous?
J. M. W. Turner was a famous English landscape painter.
J. M. W. Turner Lists