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  Joseph Mallord William  Turner 

Birth Year : 1775
Death Year : 1851
Country : 

Joseph Mallord William Turner, the hero of Ruskin's Modern Painters and revolutionary figure in the art of landscape painting was the son of a London barber. His genius showed early, and by the time he was in his early teens, Turner was earning money coloring engraved prints. He studied drawing and was admitted first to Reynold's studio as a copyist and then to the Royal Academy Schools. Three years after he began to exhibit at the Academy in 1790, Turner had his own studio and he soon saw the beginning of a lifelong series of reproductions of his works as prints. Turner dated his career from 1799, when he was made as associate of the Royal Academy because of his drawings of Norham Castle. He worked both in watercolor and in oils, painting landscapes in classical and romantic styles, while his seascapes enjoyed a reputation almost equal to that of the Dutch masters. He became a full member of the Academy in 1802 and made his first trip to France and Switzerland. Appointed Professor of Perspective at the Academy in 1807, he opened a studio-gallery where he showed his own works and sold a great many of them. Turner then began to travel widely, sketching constantly, studying the sea and sky in all kinds of atmospheric conditions. He developed and enthusiasm for Watteau's light, fuzzy touch and for the works of Claude Lorrain. In fact, Turner wished to be considered a rival of Claude, and the bequest of his paintings to the British people included a stipulation that his works always be shown side by side with those of the elder master. Turner's work continued to be both profitable and popular until about 1834, when he developed his final and most spectacular style, which displeased the academicians and all the critics except Ruskin. Turner completely abandoned his romantic and classical landscapes and devoted himself to a series of works in which atmospheric conditions become the principal subject matter. He created visionary, swirling, misty scenes that are a symbolic expression of the forces of nature and a giant step toward the French Impressionists' direct recording of nature in all conditions of wind and weather. Constable called Turner's final works "airy visions, painted with tinted steam," an opinion that is accurate if understated, for the "airy visions" are eminently exciting, and the "tinted steam" is both poetic, and imaginative. 

Joseph Mallord William Turner
Grand Canal, Venice

Joseph Mallord William Turner
Fighting Temeraire, The

Joseph Mallord William Turner
Rain, Steam and Speed

Joseph Mallord William Turner
Boats with Anchors

Joseph Mallord William Turner
Rockets and Blue Lights

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