‘The painter of light’ Joseph Mallord William Turner
Joseph Mallord William Turner (23 April 1775 – 19 December 1851)• An English Romantic landscape and seascape painter, watercolourist and printmaker.• Is known to have laid the foundation for Impressionism.• Interest in brilliant colours.• Convincing truth and profound realism in depicting nature.• Fascinating beauty and lyric charm.
• William Turner was born in London in a family of a barber and wig maker.• Spent his childhood in Brentford, a small town to west of London on the banks of the River Thames.• At the age of 10 becomes interested in painting.
• William Turner entered the Royal Academy of Art schools in 1789, when he was14 years old.• Was accepted into the academy a year later by the committee chaired by Sir Joshua Reynolds, its president at the time.• At first showed a keen interest in architecture.• The first watercolour by Turners was accepted for the Summer Exhibition of 1790 after only one years study.• His first oil painting was exhibited in 1796.
• His last exhibition at the Royal Academy was in 1850.• Turner died in 1851 and was buried in St Pauls Cathedral next to Sir Joshua Reynolds.• He bequeathed much of his work to the nation. The great majority of the paintings are now at Tate Britain.
The subject-matters of Turners paintings• Vehicles for Turners imagination were to be found in the subjects of shipwrecks, fires, natural catastrophes, and natural phenomena.• The painter drew inspiration in waves and storms, clouds and vapuor, had a keen interest in depicting ruins and frowning mountains.• After 1802 begins to choose subjects from agricultural or pastoral country.
Lifelong absorption with the sea• Turner’s love of the sea was fundamental in his creative work.• He executed profound and forceful representations of everchanging marine scenes in which the value of his splendid visual memory and manual dexterity are evident for he believed that a wave cannot be drawn slowly and stolidly
The attitude to human beings in Turner’s works• Turner placed human beings in many of his paintings to indicate his affection for humanity on the one hand and its vulnerability and vulgarity amid the awe-inspiring, savage grandeur of the natural world on the other hand.• In some of his paintings Turner is vindicated as a draughtsman of people.• All his characters are living individuals.
Peculiarities of style• Turner’s mature work is characterized by a chromatic palette and broadly applied atmospheric washes of paint.• The significance of light was to him the emanation of Gods spirit.• Turner’s works of art are characterized by sloven brushwork.• He refined the subject matters of his later paintings by leaving out solid objects and detail, concentrating on the play of light and colour.• The artist who could most "stirringly and truthfully measure the moods of Nature.“
• In his later years he used oils ever more transparently, and turned to an evocation of almost pure light by the use of shimmering colour.• A prime example of his mature style can be seen in Rain, Steam and Speed - The Great Western Railway, where the objects are barely recognizable.
Innovation• Turner was considered a controversial figure in his day s.• Nowadays he is regarded as the artist who elevated landscape painting to an eminence rivalling history painting.• In investigations of light and color Turner anticipated the practice of the impressionists.