Monday, October 10, 2011

Turner, Joseph Mallord William

The Grand Canal, Venice
Oil on canvas
91.4 x 122.2 cm
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Joseph Mallord William Turner RA (1775 – 1851) was an English Romantic landscape painter, watercolourist.
Turner was considered a controversial figure in his day, but is now regarded as the artist who elevated landscape painting to an eminence rivalling history painting. His entire life was devoted to his art. Unlike many artists of his era, he was successful throughout his career.

As he grew older Turner became an eccentric. Except for his father, he had no close friends. He allowed no one to watch him while he painted. One day Turner disappeared from his house. His housekeeper, after a search of many months, found him hiding in a house in Chelsea. He had been ill for a long time. He died the following day.
He is commonly known as "the painter of light" and his work is regarded as a Romantic preface to Impressionism.