Portrait of Joseph Mallord William Turner

Joseph Mallord William Turner Painting Reproductions Gallery 1 of 14

1775-1851

English Romantic Painter

Joseph Mallord William Turner (April 23, 1775 (exact date disputed) - December 19, 1851) was an English Romantic landscape painter, watercolourist and printmaker, whose style can be said to have laid the foundation for Impressionism.

Life and career
Turner was born in Covent Garden, London. His father, William, was a barber and wig maker. His mother, Mary Marshall, became increasingly mentally unstable, perhaps, in part, due to the early death of Turner's younger sister in 1783. She died in 1804, after having been committed in 1799 to a mental asylum.

Possibly due to the load placed on the family by these problems, the young Turner was sent in 1785 to stay with his uncle on his mother's side in Brentford, which was then a small town west of London on the banks of the River Thames. It was here that he first expressed an interest in painting. A year later he went to school in Margate in Kent to the east of London in the area of the Thames estuary. By this time he had created many drawings, which his father exhibited in his shop window.

He entered the Royal Academy of Art schools when he was only 16 years old, citation needed] and was accepted into the academy a year later. Sir Joshua Reynolds, president of the Royal Academy at the time, chaired the panel that admitted him. At first Turner showed a keen interest in architecture but was advised to keep to painting by the architect Thomas Hardwick (junior). A watercolour of Turner's was accepted for the Summer Exhibition of 1790 after only one year's study. He exhibited his first oil painting in 1796, and thereafter exhibited at the academy nearly every year for the rest of his life.

Although renowned for his oils, Turner is also one of the greatest masters of British watercolour landscape painting. He is commonly known as "the painter of light".

One of his most famous oil paintings is The fighting Temeraire tugged to her last berth to be broken up, painted in 1838, which hangs in the National Gallery, London. See also The Golden Bough.

Turner travelled widely in Europe, starting with France and Switzerland in 1802 and studying in the Louvre in Paris in the same year. He also made many visits to Venice during his lifetime. On a visit to Lyme Regis, in Dorset, England, he painted a stormy scene (now in the Cincinnati Art Museum). Turner was also a frequent guest of Lord Egremont at Petworth House in West Sussex and painted scenes from the grounds of the house and of the Sussex countryside, including a view of the Chichester Canal that Egremont funded. Petworth House still displays a number of paintings.

As he grew older, Turner became more eccentric. He had few close friends except for his father, who lived with him for thirty years, eventually working 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. He never married, although he had two daughters by Sarah Danby, one born in 1801, the other in 1811.

He died in the house of his mistress Mrs Sophia Caroline Booth in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea on 19 December 1851. At his request he was buried in St Paul's Cathedral, where he lies next to Sir Joshua Reynolds. His last exhibition at the Royal Academy was in 1850.

Style
Turner's talent was recognized early in his life. He became a full art academician at the age of 29. Financial independence allowed Turner to innovate freely; his mature work is characterized 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." However, Turner was still recognized as an artistic genius: influential English art critic John Ruskin described Turner as the artist who could most "stirringly and truthfully measure the moods of Nature."

Suitable vehicles for Turner's imagination were to be found in the subjects of shipwrecks, fires (see Burning of Parliament, an event which Turner rushed to witness first-hand, and transcribed in a series of watercolor sketches), natural catastrophes, and natural phenomena such as sunlight, storm, rain, and fog. Against such spectacular backdrops the human presence became all but insignificant. He was fascinated by the violent power of the sea, as seen in Dawn after the Wreck (1840) and The Slave Ship (1840).
His first works, such as Tintern Abbey (1795) and Venice: S. Giorgio Maggiore (1819), stayed true to the traditions of English landscape. However, in Hannibal Crossing the Alps (1812), an emphasis on the destructive power of nature had already come into play. His distinctive style of painting, in which he used watercolor technique with oil paints, created lightness, fluency, and ephemeral atmospheric effects.

One popular story about Turner, though it likely has little basis in reality, states that he even had himself "tied to the mast of a ship in order to experience the drama" of the elements during a storm at sea.

In his 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 Rain, Steam and Speed - The Great Western Railway, where the objects are barely recognizable. The intensity of hue and interest in evanescent light not only placed Turner's work in the vanguard of English painting, but later exerted an influence upon art in France, as well; the Impressionists, particularly Claude Monet, carefully studied his techniques. In the modern art era, advocates of abstract art were also inspired by Turner.

It has been suggested that the high levels of ash in the atmosphere during the 1816 Year Without a Summer, which led to unusually spectacular sunsets during this period, were an inspiration for some of Turner's work.

John Ruskin says in his "Notes" on Turner in March 1878, that an early patron, Dr Thomas Monro, the Principal Physician of Bedlam, 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 Giston, 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."

Legacy
Turner left a small fortune which he hoped would be used to support what he called "decayed artists". Part of the money went to the Royal Academy of Arts, which now does not use it for this purpose though occasionally it awards students the Turner Medal. His collection of finished paintings was bequeathed to the British nation, and he intended that a special gallery would be built to house them. This did not come to pass owing to a failure to agree on a site, and then to the parsimony of British governments. 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. In 1910 the main part of the Turner Bequest, which includes unfinished paintings and drawings, was rehoused in the Duveen Turner Wing at the Tate Gallery. In 1987 a new wing of the Tate, the Clore Gallery, was opened specifically to house the Turner bequest, though some of the most important paintings in it remain in the National Gallery in contravention of Turner's condition that the finished pictures be kept and shown together.

In 1974, the Turner Museum was founded in the USA by Douglass Montrose-Graem to house his collection of Turner prints.

A prestigious annual art award, the Turner Prize, created in 1984, was named in Turner's honour, but has become increasingly controversial, having promoted art which has no apparent connection with Turner's. Twenty years later the more modest Winsor & Newton Turner Watercolour Award was founded.

A major exhibition, "Turner's Britain", with material, (including The Fighting Temeraire) on loan from around the globe, was held at Birmingham Museum & 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 organized by the BBC.

In October 2005 Professor Harold Livermore, its owner for 60 years, gave Sandycombe Lodge, the villa at Twickenham which Turner designed and built for himself, to the Sandycombe Lodge Trust to be preserved as a monument to the artist. In 2006 he additionally gave some land to the Trust which had been part of Turner's domaine. The Friends of Turner's House were formed in 2004 to support it.

In April 2006, Christie's New York auctioned Giudecca, La Donna Della Salute and San Giorgio, a view of Venice exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1841, for US$35.8 million, setting a new record for a Turner. The New York Times stated that according to two sources who had requested anonymity the buyer was casino magnate Stephen Wynn.

In 2006, Turner's Glaucus and Scylla (1840) was returned by Kimbell Art Museum to the heirs of John and Anna Jaffe after a Holocaust Claim was made. The painting is scheduled to be sold by Christie's in April of 2007.

321 J. M. W. Turner Paintings

Fishermen upon a Lee-Shore in Squally Weather, undated by J. M. W. Turner | Painting Reproduction

Fishermen upon a Lee-Shore in Squally Weather undated

Oil Painting
$1015
Canvas Print
$54.49
SKU: TJW-5606
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Original Size: 91.5 x 122 cm
City Art Gallery, Southampton, United Kingdom

View of the Castle of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, undated by J. M. W. Turner | Painting Reproduction

View of the Castle of Saint-Germain-en-Laye undated

Canvas Print
$48.59
SKU: TJW-14392
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Original Size: 29.9 x 45.7 cm
Louvre Museum, Paris, France

The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, 16 October 1834, 1835 by J. M. W. Turner | Painting Reproduction

The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, ... 1835

Oil Painting
$885
Canvas Print
$54.89
SKU: TJW-14393
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Original Size: 92 x 123.2 cm
Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio, USA

Going to the Ball (San Martino), 1846 by J. M. W. Turner | Painting Reproduction

Going to the Ball (San Martino) 1846

Oil Painting
$849
Canvas Print
$49.00
SKU: TJW-14394
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Original Size: 61.6 x 92.4 cm
Tate Gallery, London, United Kingdom

Bridge of Sighs, Ducal Palace and Custom House, Venice, 1833 by J. M. W. Turner | Painting Reproduction

Bridge of Sighs, Ducal Palace and Custom House, Venice 1833

Oil Painting
$951
Canvas Print
$48.59
SKU: TJW-14395
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Original Size: 51.1 x 81.6 cm
Tate Gallery, London, United Kingdom

Venice, from the Porch of Madonna della Salute, c.1835 by J. M. W. Turner | Painting Reproduction

Venice, from the Porch of Madonna della Salute c.1835

Oil Painting
$1748
Canvas Print
$55.03
SKU: TJW-14396
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Original Size: 91.4 x 122.2 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

The Whale Ship, c.1845 by J. M. W. Turner | Painting Reproduction

The Whale Ship c.1845

Oil Painting
$863
Canvas Print
$54.49
SKU: TJW-14397
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Original Size: 91.8 x 122.6 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

Saltash with the Water Ferry, 1811 by J. M. W. Turner | Painting Reproduction

Saltash with the Water Ferry 1811

Oil Painting
$922
Canvas Print
$55.03
SKU: TJW-14398
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Original Size: 90 x 120.7 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

The Lake of Zug, 1843 by J. M. W. Turner | Painting Reproduction

The Lake of Zug 1843

Paper Print
$46.27
SKU: TJW-14399
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Original Size: 29.8 x 46.6 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

View of London from Greenwich, 1825 by J. M. W. Turner | Painting Reproduction

View of London from Greenwich 1825

Paper Print
$46.27
SKU: TJW-14400
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Original Size: 21.3 x 28 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

Fort of L'Essillon, Val de la Maurienne, France, 1836 by J. M. W. Turner | Painting Reproduction

Fort of L'Essillon, Val de la Maurienne, France 1836

Paper Print
$46.27
SKU: TJW-14401
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Original Size: 19.7 x 28 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

The Fighting Temeraire, 1839 by J. M. W. Turner | Painting Reproduction

The Fighting Temeraire 1839

Oil Painting
$894
Canvas Print
$54.89
SKU: TJW-14402
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Original Size: 90.7 x 121.6 cm
National Gallery, London, United Kingdom

Rain, Steam and Speed - The Great Western Railway, 1844 by J. M. W. Turner | Painting Reproduction

Rain, Steam and Speed - The Great Western Railway 1844

Oil Painting
$854
Canvas Print
$54.89
SKU: TJW-14403
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Original Size: 91 x 121.8 cm
National Gallery, London, United Kingdom

Margate from the Sea, c.1835/40 by J. M. W. Turner | Painting Reproduction

Margate from the Sea c.1835/40

Oil Painting
$796
Canvas Print
$54.89
SKU: TJW-14404
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Original Size: 91.2 x 122.2 cm
National Gallery, London, United Kingdom

Calais Pier with French Poissards Preparing for Sea: an English Packet Arriving, 1803 by J. M. W. Turner | Painting Reproduction

Calais Pier with French Poissards Preparing for ... 1803

Oil Painting
$1287
Canvas Print
$52.88
SKU: TJW-14405
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Original Size: 172 x 240 cm
National Gallery, London, United Kingdom

Dido Building Carthage (The Rise of the Carthaginian Empire), 1815 by J. M. W. Turner | Painting Reproduction

Dido Building Carthage (The Rise of the ... 1815

Oil Painting
$1552
Canvas Print
$49.27
SKU: TJW-14406
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Original Size: 155.5 x 230 cm
National Gallery, London, United Kingdom

Sun Rising through Vapour: Fishermen Cleaning and Selling Fish, b.1807 by J. M. W. Turner | Painting Reproduction

Sun Rising through Vapour: Fishermen Cleaning and ... b.1807

Oil Painting
$1612
Canvas Print
$54.23
SKU: TJW-14407
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Original Size: 134 x 179.5 cm
National Gallery, London, United Kingdom

The Parting of Hero and Leander, b.1837 by J. M. W. Turner | Painting Reproduction

The Parting of Hero and Leander b.1837

Oil Painting
$1203
Canvas Print
$48.59
SKU: TJW-14408
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Original Size: 146 x 236 cm
National Gallery, London, United Kingdom

Ulysses Deriding Polyphemus - Homer's Odyssey, 1829 by J. M. W. Turner | Painting Reproduction

Ulysses Deriding Polyphemus - Homer's Odyssey 1829

Oil Painting
$1296
Canvas Print
$48.59
SKU: TJW-14409
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Original Size: 132.5 x 203 cm
National Gallery, London, United Kingdom

Landscape with River and a Bay in the far Background, c.1835 by J. M. W. Turner | Painting Reproduction

Landscape with River and a Bay in the far Background c.1835

Oil Painting
$794
Canvas Print
$55.69
SKU: TJW-14410
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Original Size: 94 x 124 cm
Louvre Museum, Paris, France

The Lauerzer See with the Mythens (Lake of Brienz), c.1845/50 by J. M. W. Turner | Painting Reproduction

The Lauerzer See with the Mythens (Lake of Brienz) c.1845/50

Paper Print
$46.27
SKU: TJW-14411
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Original Size: 36.8 x 54 cm
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, United Kingdom

Mountainous Landscape (A Swiss Pass), c.1848/50 by J. M. W. Turner | Painting Reproduction

Mountainous Landscape (A Swiss Pass) c.1848/50

Paper Print
$46.27
SKU: TJW-14412
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Original Size: 35.9 x 50.8 cm
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, United Kingdom

Life-Boat and Manby Apparatus Going Off to a Stranded Vessel Making Signal (Blue Lights) of Distress, c.1831 by J. M. W. Turner | Painting Reproduction

Life-Boat and Manby Apparatus Going Off to a ... c.1831

Oil Painting
$854
Canvas Print
$50.82
SKU: TJW-14413
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Original Size: 91.4 x 122 cm
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, United Kingdom

Mackerel on the Beach, c.1830/35 by J. M. W. Turner | Painting Reproduction

Mackerel on the Beach c.1830/35

Paper Print
$46.27
SKU: TJW-14414
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Original Size: 20.3 x 15.5 cm
British Museum, London, United Kingdom

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