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Turner, Joseph Mallord William

Turner, Joseph Mallord William (1775–1851). British land- and seascape artist. Born in London the son of a barber, Turner was precociously talented. He entered the RA Schools in 1789, had a drawing exhibited at the academy in 1790, and was elected a full academician in 1802. He became professor of perspective in 1807. In 1792 he made the first of many sketching tours he was to undertake over the next 50 years, throughout the British Isles and Europe. A prolific artist of amazing range of subject and style, he began work in water-colours, quickly founding both a reputation and a fortune, which made him independent of changing public taste. At home in both oils and water-colours, he took the use of each almost to the limits of artistic possibility. His work was not appreciated by everyone, but his supporters included Thomas Lawrence, John Ruskin, and the earl of Egremont, whose large collection at Petworth (Sussex) now belongs to the National Trust. He died in eccentric obscurity under a false name. A taciturn and miserly man, secretive of his methods, yet meticulous in documenting his artistic development, Turner's will left about 300 oils and over 19,000 water-colours and drawings to the nation. The conditions of the bequest were ignored until 1987 when a special Turner Gallery was opened at the Tate in London. Frosty Morning (1813), Chichester Canal (1828), The Fighting Teméraire (1839), Rain, Steam and Speed—the Great Western Railway (1844), hint at Turner's wide diversity of theme and style.

June Cochrane

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Turner, Joseph Mallord William

Turner, Joseph Mallord William (1775–1851) English landscape painter. He was an associate of the Royal Academy (RA) by the age of 24, and professor of perspective at the RA from 1807 to 1838. Turner's paintings were revolutionary in their representation of light, especially on water. His style changed dramatically in his late works, such as The Slave Ship (1840) and Rain, Steam and Speed (1844), in which the original subjects are almost obscured in a hazy interplay of light and colour. His work had a profound influence on Impressionism.

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