Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Turner, Joseph Mallord William

Petworth Park: Tillington Church in the Distance
oil on canvas
63.5 × 139 cm
Tate Gallery, London, UK

The Petworth Park is one of the more famous in England..., 283-hectare (700-acre) landscaped in Petworth, West Sussex, ... largely on account of a number of pictures of it which were painted by Turner. It is inhabited by the largest herd of fallow deer in England. There is also a 12-hectare (30-acre) woodland garden, known as the Pleasure Ground. The park was handed over from private to the nation in 1947 and is now managed by the National Trust under the name "Petworth House & Park".

Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775 - 1851)  was born in London, England. His father was a barber, his mother died when he was very young and he received little schooling. His father taught him how to read, but this was the extent of his education except for the study of art. By the age of 13 he was making drawings at home and exhibiting them in his father's shop window for sale. He is the one of the finest landscape artists whose work was exhibited when he was still a teenager.

Turner's entire life was devoted to his art. Wherever he visited he studied the effects of sea and sky in every kind of weather. He developed a painting technique all his own. Instead of merely recording factually what he saw, he translated scenes into a light-filled expression of his own romantic feelings.

Turner was considered a controversial figure in his day. As he grew older Turner became an eccentric. Except for his father, he had no close friends. Turner allowed no one to watch him while he painted. One day he 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. Turner died the following day.

Unlike many artists of his era, Turner was successful throughout his career. He left a large fortune that he hoped would be used to support what he called "decaying artists." His collection of paintings was bequeathed to his country. At his request he was buried in St. Paul's Cathedral. He is commonly known as "the painter of light" and his work is regarded as a Romantic preface to Impressionism.