Joseph Mallord William Turner
Painter

Joseph Mallord William Turner

Joseph Mallord William Turner is an English landscape painter born in 1755 in London (England). In 1789, he started studying at the Royal Academy School in London. In 1790, he exhibited there a watercolour, which is favourite painting technique. He later began to paint using oil. In 1796, he exhibited at the Royal Academy one of his oil paintings which granted him to be known as the “painter of light”. His technique is often considered as pioneer, almost a century before the Impressionism movement. His painting Fisherman at Sea shows his attachment the seascapes of 17th-century Dutch painting. In 1799, he was elected by the Académie Royale as the youngest student admitted. In 1802, he became its most illustrious academician. Despite the Dutch influence of his works, his contemporaries saw in his painting a predominance of the Romanticism movement. He was also influenced by Nicolas Poussin and Claude Gellée. In 1802, he toured Europe and discovers the looted artworks under Napoleon's orders. He then went to Switzerland before returning to London because of the war. From 1817 to 1845, he continued travelling and visited Belgium, Holland, the Rhine and Italy. The landscapes he saw during these travels greatly inspired his works. In this sense he contrasts with John Constable, who painted landscapes he knew from England, but never travelled. Turner drew the motif before creating his works in his studio. In his painting, he enjoyed mixing historic and literary references. During his exhibitions, as well as in his catalogues, his works were hung next to texts written by him. John Ruskin, still young at the time, was close to his art and dedicated lines to him in his famous Modern Painters. Joseph Mallord William Turner died in 1851, in Chelsea.

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