J. M. W. Turner

Joseph Mallord William Turner RA (23 April 1775 – 19 December 1851), known as J. M. W. Turner and contemporarily as William Turner,[a] was an English Romantic painter, printmaker and watercolourist. He is known for his expressive colourisations, imaginative landscapes and turbulent, often violent marine paintings.

Turner was born in Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London, to a modest lower middle-class family. He lived in London all his life, retaining his Cockney accent and assiduously avoiding the trappings of success and fame.

A child prodigy, Turner studied at the Royal Academy of Arts from 1789, enrolling when he was 14, and exhibited his first work there at 15. During this period, he also served as an architectural draftsman. He earned a steady income from commissions and sales, which due to his troubled, contrary nature, were often begrudgingly accepted. He opened his own gallery in 1804 and became professor of perspective at the academy in 1807, where he lectured until 1828, although he was viewed as profoundly inarticulate. He traveled to Europe from 1802, typically returning with voluminous sketchbooks.

Intensely private, eccentric and reclusive, Turner was a controversial figure throughout his career. He did not marry, but fathered two daughters, Eveline (1801–1874) and Georgiana (1811–1843), by his housekeeper Sarah Danby. He became more pessimistic and morose as he got older, especially after the death of his father, after which his outlook deteriorated, his gallery fell into disrepair and neglect, and his art intensified. He lived in squalor and poor health from 1845, and died in London in 1851 aged 76. Turner is buried in Saint Paul's Cathedral, London.

He left behind more than 550 oil paintings, 2,000 watercolours, and 30,000 works on paper.[1] He had been championed by the leading English art critic John Ruskin from 1840, and is today regarded as having elevated landscape painting to an eminence rivalling history painting.[2]

J. M. W. Turner

Joseph Mallord William Turner Self Portrait 1799
Self-portrait, oil on canvas, c. 1799
Joseph Mallord William Turner

23 April 1775
Died19 December 1851 (aged 76)
Resting placeSt Paul's Cathedral
EducationRoyal Academy of Arts
Known forPaintings


Early life

DV307 no.70 House where Turner was born, from a print
The house in Maiden Lane where Turner was born, c.1850s

Joseph Mallord William Turner was born on 23 April 1775 and baptised on 14 May.[c] He was born in Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, in London, England.[3] His father, William Turner (1745–21 September 1829), was a barber and wig maker.[4] His mother, Mary Marshall, came from a family of butchers.[5] A younger sister, Mary Ann, was born in September 1778 but died in August 1783.[6]

Turner's mother showed signs of mental disturbance from 1785 and was admitted to St Luke's Hospital for Lunatics in Old Street in 1799 and was moved in 1800 to Bethlem Hospital[7] where she died in 1804. Turner was sent to his maternal uncle, Joseph Mallord William Marshall, in Brentford, then a small town on the banks of the River Thames west of London. The earliest known artistic exercise by Turner is from this period—a series of simple colourings of engraved plates from Henry Boswell's Picturesque View of the Antiquities of England and Wales.[8]

Around 1786, Turner was sent to Margate on the north-east Kent coast. There he produced a series of drawings of the town and surrounding area that foreshadowed his later work.[9] By this time, Turner's drawings were being exhibited in his father's shop window and sold for a few shillings.[5] His father boasted to the artist Thomas Stothard that: "My son, sir, is going to be a painter".[10] In 1789, Turner again stayed with his uncle who had retired to Sunningwell in Berkshire (now part of Oxfordshire). A whole sketchbook of work from this time in Berkshire survives as well as a watercolour of Oxford. The use of pencil sketches on location, as the foundation for later finished paintings, formed the basis of Turner's essential working style for his whole career.[8]

Many early sketches by Turner were architectural studies or exercises in perspective, and it is known that, as a young man, he worked for several architects including Thomas Hardwick, James Wyatt and Joseph Bonomi the Elder.[11] By the end of 1789, he had also begun to study under the topographical draughtsman Thomas Malton, specialised in London views. Turner learned from him the basic tricks of the trade, copying and colouring outline prints of British castles and abbeys. He would later call Malton "My real master".[12] Topography was a thriving industry by which a young artist could pay for his studies.

Royal Academy

Turner entered the Royal Academy of Art in 1789, aged 14,[13] and was accepted into the academy a year later by Sir Joshua Reynolds. Turner showed an early interest in architecture, but was advised by Thomas Hardwick to focus on painting. His first watercolour, A View of the Archbishop's Palace, Lambeth was accepted for the Royal Academy summer exhibition of 1790 when Turner was 15.

As an academy probationer, Turner was taught drawing from plaster casts of antique sculptures. From July 1790 to October 1793, his name appears in the registry of the academy over a hundred times.[14] In June 1792, he was admitted to the life class to learn to draw the human body from nude models.[15] Turner exhibited watercolours each year at the academy while painting in the winter and travelling in the summer widely throughout Britain, particularly to Wales, where he produced a wide range of sketches for working up into studies and watercolours. These particularly focused on architectural work, which used his skills as a draughtsman.[14] In 1793, he showed the watercolour titled The Rising Squall – Hot Wells from St Vincent's Rock Bristol (now lost), which foreshadowed his later climatic effects.[16] Cunningham in his obituary of Turner wrote that it was: "recognised by the wiser few as a noble attempt at lifting landscape art out of the tame insipidities...[and] evinced for the first time that mastery of effect for which he is now justly celebrated".[17]

Joseph Mallord William Turner - Fishermen at Sea - Google Art Project
Fishermen at Sea, exhibited in 1796 was the first oil painting exhibited by Turner at the Royal Academy.

In 1796, Turner exhibited Fishermen at Sea, his first oil painting for the academy, of a nocturnal moonlit scene of the Needles off the Isle of Wight, an image of boats in peril.[18] Wilton said that the image: "Is a summary of all that had been said about the sea by the artists of the 18th century."[19] and shows strong influence by artists such as Claude Joseph Vernet, Philip James de Loutherbourg, Peter Monamy and Francis Swaine, who was admired for his moonlight marine paintings. This particular painting cannot be said to show any influence of Willem van de Velde the Younger, as not a single nocturnal scene is known by that painter. Some later work, however, was created to rival or complement the manner of the Dutch artist. The image was praised by contemporary critics and founded Turner's reputation, as both an oil painter and a painter of maritime scenes.[20]

Early career

Portrait of J. M. W. Turner, R.A. making his sketch for the celebrated picture of Mercury & Argus (4674619)
Charles Turner, c. 1840, Portrait of J. M. W. Turner, making his sketch for the celebrated picture of 'Mercury & Argus' (exhibited in 1836)

Turner traveled widely in Europe, starting with France and Switzerland in 1802 and studying in the Louvre in Paris in the same year. He made many visits to Venice. Important support for his work came from Walter Ramsden Fawkes of Farnley Hall, near Otley in Yorkshire, who became a close friend of the artist. Turner first visited Otley in 1797, aged 22, when commissioned to paint watercolours of the area. He was so attracted to Otley and the surrounding area that he returned to it throughout his career. The stormy backdrop of Hannibal Crossing The Alps is reputed to have been inspired by a storm over the Chevin in Otley while he was staying at Farnley Hall.

Turner was a frequent guest of George O'Brien Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont, at Petworth House in West Sussex and painted scenes that Egremont funded taken from the grounds of the house and of the Sussex countryside, including a view of the Chichester Canal. Petworth House still displays a number of paintings.

Personal life

As Turner grew older, he became more eccentric. He had few close friends except for his father, who lived with him for 30 years and worked 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 but had a relationship with an older widow, Sarah Danby (1760—1861). He is believed to have been the father of her two daughters Evalina Dupois (1801—1874) and Georgiana Thompson (1811—1843).[21]

Turner formed a relationship with Sophia Caroline Booth (1798—1875) after her second husband died, and he lived for about 18 years as "Mr Booth" in her house in Chelsea.[22]

Turner was a habitual user of snuff; in 1838, Louis Philippe I, King of the French presented a gold snuff box to him.[23] Of two other snuffboxes, an agate and silver example bears Turner's name,[24] and another, made of wood, was collected along with his spectacles, magnifying glass and card case by an associate housekeeper.[25]


Turner died of cholera at the home of Sophia Caroline Booth, in Cheyne Walk in Chelsea, on 19 December 1851. He is buried in St Paul's Cathedral, where he lies near to Sir Joshua Reynolds.[26] Apparently his last words were "The Sun is God",[27] though this may be apocryphal.[28]

Turner's friend, the architect Philip Hardwick (1792–1870), son of his tutor, Thomas Hardwick, was in charge of making the funeral arrangements and wrote to those who knew Turner to tell them at the time of his death that, "I must inform you, we have lost him." Other executors were his cousin and chief mourner at the funeral, Henry Harpur IV (benefactor of Westminster – now Chelsea & Westminster – Hospital), Revd. Henry Scott Trimmer, George Jones RA and Charles Turner ARA.[29]



Turner's talent was recognised early in his life. Financial independence allowed Turner to innovate freely; his mature work is characterised 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". Turner was recognised as an artistic genius: the influential English art critic John Ruskin described him as the artist who could most "stirringly and truthfully measure the moods of Nature".[30] Turner's work drew criticism from contemporaries, in particular from Sir George Beaumont, a landscape painter and fellow member of the Royal Academy, who described his paintings as 'blots'.[31]

Turner's imagination was sparked by shipwrecks, fires (including the burning of Parliament in 1834, an event which Turner witnessed first-hand, and transcribed in a series of watercolour sketches), and natural phenomena such as sunlight, storm, rain, and fog. He was fascinated by the violent power of the sea, as seen in Dawn after the Wreck (1840) and The Slave Ship (1840).

Turner's major venture into printmaking was the Liber Studiorum (Book of Studies), seventy prints that he worked on from 1806 to 1819. The Liber Studiorum was an expression of his intentions for landscape art. The idea was loosely based on Claude Lorrain's Liber Veritatis (Book of Truth), where Lorrain had recorded his completed paintings; a series of print copies of these drawings, by then at Devonshire House, had been a huge publishing success. Turner's plates were meant to be widely disseminated, and categorised the genre into six types: Marine, Mountainous, Pastoral, Historical, Architectural, and Elevated or Epic Pastoral.[32] His printmaking was a major part of his output, and a museum is devoted to it, the Turner Museum in Sarasota, Florida, founded in 1974 by Douglass Montrose-Graem to house his collection of Turner prints.[33]

Turner's early works, such as Tintern Abbey (1795), stay true to the traditions of English landscape. In Hannibal Crossing the Alps (1812), an emphasis on the destructive power of nature has already come into play. His distinctive style of painting, in which he used watercolour technique with oil paints, created lightness, fluency, and ephemeral atmospheric effects.[34]

In Turner's 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 recognisable. The intensity of hue and interest in evanescent light not only placed Turner's work in the vanguard of English painting but exerted an influence on art in France; the Impressionists, particularly Claude Monet, carefully studied his techniques.

High levels of volcanic ash (from the eruption of Mt. Tambora) in the atmosphere during 1816, the "Year Without a Summer", led to unusually spectacular sunsets during this period, and were an inspiration for some of Turner's work.

John Ruskin said that an early patron, Thomas Monro, Principal Physician of Bedlam, and a collector and amateur artist, 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 his friend Girtin, 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.

Together with a number of young artists, Turner was able, in Monro's London house, to copy works of the major topographical draughtsmen of his time and perfect his skills in drawing. But the curious atmospherical effects and illusions of John Robert Cozens's watercolours, some of which were present in Monro's house, went far further than the neat renderings of topography. The solemn grandeur of his Alpine views were an early revelation to the young Turner and showed him the true potential of the watercolour medium, conveying mood instead of information.


Turner experimented with a wide variety of pigment.[35] He used pigments like carmine, despite knowing that they were not long-lasting, and against the advice of contemporary experts to use more durable pigments. As a result, many of his colours have now faded. Ruskin complained at how quickly his work decayed; Turner was indifferent to posterity and chose materials that looked good when freshly applied.[36] By 1930, there was concern that both his oils and his watercolours were fading.[37]

Gallery of works

Clare Hall, Turner 1793.jpeg

Clare Hall and the West end of King's College Chapel, Cambridge, 1793, watercolor on paper

Joseph Mallord William Turner 024

Calais Pier, 1801, oil on canvas, National Gallery, London

Joseph Mallord William Turner - Dutch Boats in a Gale - WGA23163

Dutch Boats in a Gale, 1801, oil on canvas. For his painting Turner drew inspiration from the art of Willem van de Velde the Younger

Shipwreck turner

The Wreck of a Transport Ship, c. 1810, oil on canvas[38]

Joseph Mallord William Turner - Ingleborough from Chapel-Le-Dale - Google Art Project

Ingleborough from Chapel-Le-Dale', c. 1810-15, watercolor Yale Center for British Art

Joseph Mallord William Turner - Raby Castle, the Seat of the Earl of Darlington - Walters 3741

Raby Castle, the Seat of the Earl of Darlington, 1817, oil on canvas, 119 x 180 cm. One of Turner's most successful "house portraits",[39] Walters Art Museum, Baltimore

'Sea View' by J. M. W. Turner, Scottish National Gallery

Sea View, c. mid-1820s, watercolor and gouache on blue paper, Scottish National Gallery

Joseph Mallord William Turner - Italian Landscape with Bridge and Tower - Google Art Project

Italian Landscape with Bridge and Tower', c. 1827, oil on canvas, Tate Britain

Joseph Mallord William Turner - Shipping - Google Art Project

Shipping, c. 1828-30, watercolor on paper, Yale Center for British Art

JMW Turner - Nantes from the Ile Feydeau

Nantes from the Ile Feydeau, c. 1829–30, watercolor on paper, Château des ducs de Bretagne

Turner-Brennendes Schiff-1830

Burning Ship, c. 1830, watercolor on paper, Tate Britain

Wreckers Coast of Northumberland Joseph Mallord William Turner.jpeg

Wreckers Coast of Northumberland, c. 1836, oil on canvas, Yale Center for British Art

Chicago art inst turner vallee aoste

Valley of Aosta: Snowstorm, Avalanche and Thunderstorm, 1836-37, oil on canvas, Art Institute of Chicago

Joseph Mallord William Turner, The Rham Plateau, Luxembourg, from the Alzette Valley c

The Rham Plateau, Luxembourg, from the Alzette Valley c. 1839, watercolor on paper, Tate Britain

The Fighting Temeraire, JMW Turner, National Gallery

The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her last berth to be broken up, 1839, oil on canvas, National Gallery

Joseph Mallord William Turner - Snow Storm - Steam-Boat off a Harbour's Mouth - WGA23178

Snow Storm: Steam-Boat off a Harbour's Mouth, c. 1842, oil on canvas, Tate Britain

The Dark Rigi, the Lake of Lucerne, Showing the Rigi at Sinrise by Turner

The Dark Rigi: The Lake of Lucerne (showing the Rigi at sunrise), 1842, watercolor on paper

Joseph Mallord William Turner, The Evening of the Deluge, c. 1843, NGA 46064

The Evening of the Deluge, c. 1843, National Gallery of Art

Whalers MET DP169567

Whalers, c. 1845, oil on canvas, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Joseph Mallord William Turner - The Channel Sketchbook - Google Art Project

page of The Channel Sketchbook, c. 1845, graphite and watercolor on medium, slightly textured, Yale Center for British Art


Turner left a small fortune which he hoped would be used to support what he called "decayed artists". He planned an almshouse at Twickenham with a gallery for some of his works. His will was contested and in 1856, after a court battle, his first cousins, including Thomas Price Turner, received part of his fortune.[40] Another portion went to the Royal Academy of Arts, which occasionally awards students the Turner Medal. His finished paintings were bequeathed to the British nation, and he intended that a special gallery would be built to house them. This did not happen due to disagreement over the final site. 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 National Gallery of British Art (now Tate Britain). In 1987, a new wing at the Tate, the Clore Gallery, was opened to house the Turner bequest, though some of the most important paintings remain in the National Gallery in contravention of Turner's condition that they be kept and shown together. Increasingly paintings are lent abroad, ignoring Turner's provision that they remain constantly and permanently in Turner's Gallery.

St. Mary's Church, Battersea added a commemorative stained glass window for Turner, between 1976 and 1982.[41] St Paul's Cathedral, Royal Academy of Arts and Victoria & Albert Museum all hold statues representing him. A portrait by Cornelius Varley with his patent graphic telescope (Sheffield Museums & Galleries) was compared with his death mask (National Portrait Gallery, London) by Kelly Freeman at Dundee University 2009–10 to ascertain whether it really depicts Turner. The city of Westminster unveiled a memorial plaque at the site of his birthplace at 21 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden 2 June 1999.[42]

Selby Whittingham founded The Turner Society at London and Manchester in 1975. After the society endorsed the Tate Gallery's Clore Gallery wing (on the lines of the Duveen wing of 1910), as the solution to the controversy of what should be done with the Turner Bequest, Selby Whittingham resigned and founded the Independent Turner Society. The Tate created the prestigious annual Turner Prize art award in 1984, named in Turner's honour, and 20 years later the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours founded the Winsor & Newton Turner Watercolour Award. A major exhibition, "Turner's Britain", with material (including The Fighting Temeraire) on loan from around the globe, was held at Birmingham Museum and 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 organised by the BBC.[43]

Portrayal in theatre, television and film

Leo McKern played Turner in The Sun is God, a 1974 Thames Television production directed by Michael Darlow.[44] The programme aired on 17 December 1974, during the Turner Bicentenary Exhibition in London.[45]

In January 2011 The Painter, a biographical play on his life by Rebecca Lenkiewicz, premiered at the Arcola Theatre in London.

British filmmaker Mike Leigh wrote and directed Mr. Turner, a biopic of Turner's later years, released in 2014. The film starred Timothy Spall as Turner, Dorothy Atkinson, Marion Bailey and Paul Jesson, and premiered in competition for the Palme d'Or at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, with Spall taking the award for Best Actor.[46][47]

Appearance on £20 Bank Note in 2020

The Bank of England announced that a portrait of Turner will appear on the £20 note beginning in 2020. It will be the first £20 British banknote printed on polymer.[48]

Selected works

Turner was an extremely prolific artist who left behind more than 550 oil paintings, 2,000 watercolours, and 30,000 paper works.[49] The Tate Gallery in London produces the most comprehensive and up to date catalogue of Turner works[50] held in both public and private collections worldwide.


a. ^ Although Turner was known by his middle name, William, he is now generally referred to by his initials, in order to avoid confusion with another artist named William Turner.

b. ^ Turner claimed to have been born on 23 April 1775, which is both Saint George's Day and the supposed birthday of William Shakespeare, but this claim has never been verified.[3] The first verifiable date is that Turner was baptised on 14 May, and some authors doubt the 23 April date, on the grounds that high infant mortality rates would have meant that parents would usually baptise their children shortly after birth.[51]

c.^ Mary Marshall died in 1804, after having been committed in 1799 to St Luke's Hospital and then to the Bethlem Royal Hospital, a mental asylum. Her illness possibly due in part to the early death of Turner's younger sister. Hamilton suggests that this "fit of illness" may have been an early sign of her madness.


  1. ^ "Turner Society Homepage". Retrieved 27 November 2011.
  2. ^ Lacayo, Richard (11 October 2007). "The Sunshine Boy". Time. At the turn of the 18th century, history painting was the highest purpose art could serve, and Turner would attempt those heights all his life. But his real achievement would be to make landscape the equal of history painting.
  3. ^ a b Shanes, Eric (2008). The life and masterworks of J.M.W. Turner (4th ed.). New York: Parkstone Press. ISBN 978-1-85995-681-6.
  4. ^ Herrmann, Luke (October 2006). Joseph Mallord William Turner. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press.
  5. ^ a b Hamilton, James (2007). Turner. New York: Random House. Chapter 1. ISBN 978-0-8129-6791-3. (Subscription required (help)). Cite uses deprecated parameter |subscription= (help)
  6. ^ Bailey, Anthony (1998). Standing in the sun: a life of J.M.W. Turner. London: Pimlico. p. 8. ISBN 0-7126-6604-4. (Subscription required (help)). Cite uses deprecated parameter |subscription= (help)
  7. ^ Brown, David Blayney (December 2012). "Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851". In Brown, David Blayney (ed.). J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours. Tate Research Publications. ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  8. ^ a b Wilton, Andrew (2006). Turner in his time (New ed.). London: Thames & Hudson. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-500-23830-1.
  9. ^ Wilton, Andrew (2006). Turner in his time (New ed.). London: Thames & Hudson. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-500-23830-1.
  10. ^ Thornbury, George Walter (1862). The life of J.M.W. Turner. p. 8.
  11. ^ Hamilton, James (1997). "1". Turner : a life. London: Sceptre. ISBN 0-340-62811-1.
  12. ^ Thornbury, George Walter (1862). The life of J.M.W. Turner. p. 27.
  13. ^ Finberg, A. J. (1961). The Life of J.M.W. Turner, R.A. Clarendon Press. p. 17.
  14. ^ a b Hamilton, James (2007). Turner. New York: Random House. Chapter 2. ISBN 978-0-8129-6791-3.
  15. ^ Wilton, Andrew (2006). Turner in his time (New ed.). London: Thames & Hudson. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-500-23830-1.
  16. ^ Wilton, Andrew (2006). Turner in his time (New ed.). London: Thames & Hudson. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-500-23830-1.
  17. ^ Cunningham, Peter (27 December 1851). "Obituary of Turner". The Athenaeum. pp. 17–18.
  18. ^ Butlin, Martin; Joll, Evelyn (1984). The paintings of J.M.W. Turner (Rev. ed.). New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-03276-5.
  19. ^ Wilton, Andrew (2006). Turner in his time (New ed.). London: Thames & Hudson. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-500-23830-1.
  20. ^ Wilton, Andrew (2006). Turner in his time (New ed.). London: Thames & Hudson. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-500-23830-1.
  21. ^ Roberts, Miquette. "The Unknown Turner". Tate. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  22. ^ "Turner Biography & Chronology – The Turner Society" (PDF).
  23. ^ "Collection Online: Snuff Box/box". British Museum.
  24. ^ "Georgian Silver and Agate Pocket Snuff Box Inscribed 'Joseph Mallord William Turner' and the date '1785'". Finch & Co. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  25. ^ "Spectacles, glass, snuffbox and cardcase of Turner 1775–1851". Philip Mould & Company. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  26. ^ David Blayney Brown, ‘Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851’, artist biography, December 2012, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-1775-1851-r1141041, accessed 18 December 2017.
  27. ^ Davies, Norman (20 January 1998). Europe: A History. London: Pimlico. p. 687. ISBN 978-0-06-097468-8. Retrieved 3 September 2014. (Subscription required (help)). Cite uses deprecated parameter |subscription= (help)
  28. ^ Wilton, Andrew (6 November 2006). Turner in his Time (01 ed.). London: Thames and Hudson Ltd. ISBN 9780500238301.
  29. ^ Thornbury, Walter (1862). The Life of J. M. W. Turner, R. A.: Founded on Letters and Papers Furnished by His Friends and Fellow Academicians. Hurst and Blackett. p. 418. Retrieved 18 December 2017.
  30. ^ (Piper 321)
  31. ^ Wilkinson, Gerald (1974). The Sketches of Turner, R.A. London: Barrie & Jenkins.
  32. ^ Imms, Matthew (December 2012). Brown, David Blayney (ed.). "J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours". Tate Gallery. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  33. ^ "The Turner Museum". The Turner Museum and Thomas Moran Galleries. Retrieved 30 August 2010.
  34. ^ Piper 321
  35. ^ Townsend, Joyce H. (1993). "The Materials of J. M. W. Turner: Pigments". Studies in Conservation. 38 (4): 231–254. doi:10.2307/1506368. JSTOR 1506368.
  36. ^ Finlay, Victoria (2004). Color: A Natural History of the Palette. Random House Trade Paperbacks. pp. 134–135. ISBN 0-8129-7142-6. (Subscription required (help)). Cite uses deprecated parameter |subscription= (help)
  37. ^ "Colors That Fade: Turner's Masterpieces: Can his works be saved?". The Daily News. 9 January 1930. p. 2. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  38. ^ Brown, David Blayney (1 January 2013). "Sea Pictures: Turner's Marine Sublime and a Sketchbook of c.1803–10".
  39. ^ "Raby Castle, the Seat of the Earl of Darlington". Walters Art Museum.
  40. ^ Monkhouse, William Cosmo (1879). The Great Artists: J.M.W. Turner R.A. New York: Scribner and Welford. p. 121. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  41. ^ "St. Mary's Church Parish website". St Mary's Modern Stained Glass
  42. ^ "Joseph Mallord William Turner". City of Westminster. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  43. ^ "Turner wins 'great painting' vote". BBC News. 5 September 2005. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  44. ^ "The Sun Is God (1974)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  45. ^ Whaley, George (2009). Leo 'Rumpole' McKern: The Accidental Actor. UNSW Press. p. 181. ISBN 978-1-921410-89-5. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  46. ^ Child, Ben (23 October 2012). "Timothy Spall to play JMW Turner in Mike Leigh biopic". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  47. ^ "Mr. Turner". Film 4. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  48. ^ "Polymer £20 note". Bank of England.
  49. ^ "Turner Society Homepage". Retrieved 27 November 2011.
  50. ^ "Joseph Mallord William Turner". Tate. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  51. ^ Hamilton, James (2007). Turner (Random House Trade Paperback ed.). New York: Random House. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-8129-6791-3.


  • Bailey, Anthony (1998). Standing in the sun: A Life of J. M. W. Turner. London: Pimlico. ISBN 0-7126-6604-4.
  • Bockemühl, Michael (2006). J. M. W. Turner, 1775–1851: the world of light and colour (2nd ed.). Köln: Taschen. ISBN 3-8228-6325-4.
  • Finberg, A. J. The Life of J. M. W. Turner, R.A. (Oxford: the University Press, 1939 and 1961)
  • Hamilton, James (2007). Turner. New York: Random House. ISBN 978-0-8129-6791-3.
  • Harrison, Colin. Turner's Oxford (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 2000)
  • Hill, David. Turner and Leeds: Image of Industry (Jeremy Mills Publishing, 2008)
  • Warburton, Stanley. Discovering Turner's Lakeland (Lytham St Annes, 2008)
  • Whittingham, Selby. An Historical Account of the Will of J. M. W. Turner, R.A. (J. M. W. Turner, R.A., Publications, London, 1993-6)
  • Wilton, Andrew (2006). Turner in His Time (Revised ed.). London: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 978-0-500-23830-1.

Further reading

  • Ackroyd, Peter (2005). J. M. W. Turner. Ackroyd's Brief Lives (1st ed.). New York: Nan A. Talese. ISBN 0-385-50798-4.
  • Barker, Elizabeth E. "Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851)". Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • Joll, Evelyn (ed.); Butlin, Martin, Herrmann, Luke (2001). The Oxford companion to J. M. W. Turner. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press. ISBN 0-19-860025-9.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Venning, Barry (2003). Turner (1st publ. ed.). Berlin: Phaidon Verlag GmbH. ISBN 0-7148-3988-4.
  • Williams, Roger (2018). A Year of Turner and the Thames (1st publ. ed.). London: Bristol Book Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9928466-9-5.

External links

123 Mortlake High Street

123 Mortlake High Street, also known as The Limes or Limes House and previously referred to as Mortlake Terrace, is a Grade II* listed 18th-century property in Mortlake in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. The house was built in about 1720 but the facade and porch were added later. The porch includes four Tuscan columns.The house's former residents include the Franks, a family of Jewish merchant bankers; Lady Byron, widow of the poet; the educational philanthropist Quintin Hogg; and Garnet Wolseley, 1st Viscount Wolseley. The building was the seat of local government for the Municipal Borough of Barnes from 1895 until 1940, when it was damaged by wartime bombing.

The house's 7 acres (2.8 ha) of grounds have now been completely built over, and the building itself has been converted to commercial office space. The exterior is still similar to what it was in two oil paintings that J. M. W. Turner (1755–1851) made while visiting the house.Turner's two paintings were made for William Moffatt, whose house it then was. Mortlake Terrace: Early Summer Morning (1826) is in the Frick Collection, New York. It was shown in the Royal Academy exhibition of 1826 where it was praised for its "lightness and simplicity". Mortlake Terrace (1827) is in the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.The Museum of London holds a wood engraving of people at The Limes, as it was then called, watching the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race. The Limes – Mortlake: 1872 is taken from London: A Pilgrimage by Blanchard Jerrold and Gustave Doré, 1872. Jerrold describes how "the towing paths presented to the view of the more fortunate people upon the private river-side terraces, a mixed population ..." The house was, at the time, the residence of a Mr Marsh Nelson.

Chichester Canal (painting)

Chichester Canal is a painting by the English Romantic landscape painter, watercolourist and printmaker J. M. W. Turner. It was painted in 1828 and was commissioned by George Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont It is now in the Tate Collection.

The work depicts the Chichester Canal in Sussex, southern England. The ship is probably a collier brig, as this serene scene had commercial purpose. Its brilliant colours may have been influenced by atmospheric ash from the eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia (see also Year Without a Summer).

Dolbadarn Castle (Turner)

Dolbadarn Castle is an oil painting by J. M. W. Turner (1775–1851) depicting Dolbadarn Castle, created in 1798–1799. It is part of a body of work completed by Turner during a tour of the region, which included Dolbadarn, Llanberis and other parts of Snowdonia. Many supporting studies can be found in a sketch book now held by Tate Britain (Record: TB XLVI). When Turner returned to his London studio he developed these sketches into a number of more accomplished paintings of North Wales, including this one, which is now kept at the National Library of Wales.This painting is particularly notable as it is one of two that Turner submitted as Diploma works to the Royal Academy in 1800.


Minginish (Scottish Gaelic: Minginis) is a peninsula on the island of Skye in Scotland. It is situated in south central Skye, between Loch Scavaig and Glen Drynoch in the west and Loch Harport and Glen Sligachan in the south and east. It includes most of the peaks of the Cuillin hills including Sgurr Alasdair, the highest point on the island at 992 metres (3,255 ft). The island of Soay lies offshore across the Soay Sound, with the Small Isles further south across the Cuillin Sound.

Much of the interior is uninhabited and the terrain is a series of hills and mountains dissected by steep-sided valleys such as Glen Brittle and Glen Eynort. To the east, Loch Coruisk, which has been painted by William Daniell and J.M.W. Turner amongst others and visited by Walter Scott. is only accessible by boat or on foot via a track from Sligachan.

There are a number of small settlements in Minginish, principally along the south coast of Loch Harport, including Carbost, Drynoch and Fiskavaig. Eynort and Talisker are further south. Crofting is a mainstay of the economy and Talisker whisky is distilled in Carbost.

The Gaelic name Minginis means "main headland".

Mr. Turner

Mr. Turner is a 2014 biographical drama film based on the last 25 years of the life of painter J. M. W. Turner (1775–1851). Written and directed by Mike Leigh, the film stars Timothy Spall in the title role, with Dorothy Atkinson, Paul Jesson, Marion Bailey, Lesley Manville, and Martin Savage. It premiered in competition for the Palme d'Or at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, where Spall won the award for Best Actor and Dick Pope received a special jury prize for the film's cinematography.The film was critically acclaimed and received four nominations each at the 87th Academy Awards and 68th British Academy Film Awards.

Describing Turner as "a great artist: a radical, revolutionary painter", writer/director Leigh explained, "I felt there was scope for a film examining the tension between this very mortal, flawed individual, and the epic work, the spiritual way he had of distilling the world".

Petworth House

Petworth House in the parish of Petworth, West Sussex, England, is a late 17th-century Grade I listed country house, rebuilt in 1688 by Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset, and altered in the 1870s to the design of the architect Anthony Salvin. It contains intricate wood-carvings by Grinling Gibbons (d.1721). It is the manor house of the manor of Petworth. For centuries it was the southern home for the Percy family, Earls of Northumberland. Petworth is famous for its extensive art collection made by George Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont (1751-1837), containing many works by his friend J. M. W. Turner. It also has an expansive deer park, landscaped by Capability Brown, which contains the largest herd of fallow deer in England.

Port Ruysdael

Port Ruysdael is an 1826 oil on canvas painting by the English painter J. M. W. Turner. It is in the collection of the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven.

Turner painted this as a tribute to Dutch Golden Age painter Jacob van Ruisdael. There is no port by the name of Port Ruysdael. In 1844 he painted another tribute to Ruisdael, named Fishing Boats bringing a Disabled Ship into Port Ruysdael which is at the Tate Gallery in London. The dimensions of the painting are 92 x 122 cm.

Rain, Steam and Speed – The Great Western Railway

Rain, Steam and Speed – The Great Western Railway is an oil painting by the 19th-century British painter J. M. W. Turner.The painting was first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1844, though it may have been painted earlier. It is now in the collection of the National Gallery, London.

The Great Western Railway (GWR) was one of a number of private British railway companies created to develop the new means of transport. The location of the painting is widely accepted as Maidenhead Railway Bridge, across the River Thames between Taplow and Maidenhead. The view is looking east towards London. The bridge was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and completed in 1838. A hare runs along the track in the bottom right of the painting, possibly symbolising speed itself. Some think this is a reference to the limits of technology. Others believe the animal is running in fear of the new machinery and Turner meant to hint at the danger of man's new technology destroying the inherent sublime elements of nature.

Rome, From Mount Aventine

Rome, From Mount Aventine is an 1835 painting by J M W Turner, based on drawings made by him in the city in 1828. It shows a view of the city of Rome from the Aventine Hill.

It was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1836, where it was described by the Morning Post as "one of those amazing pictures by which Mr Turner dazzles the imagination and confounds all criticism: it is beyond praise”.

It had been commissioned from Turner by Hugh Andrew Johnstone Munro of Novar and remained in his family collection until it was bought by the 5th Earl of Roseberry in 1878. It then remained in the Roseberry collection until 2014. It was sold at Sotheby's in London on 3 December 2014 to a telephone bidder for £30.3m including buyer's premium, having had an estimate of £15-20m.

Sandycombe Lodge

Sandycombe Lodge is a Grade II* listed house at 40 Sandycoombe Road, Twickenham, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. In the picturesque-cottage style, it was designed and built in 1813 by the artist J. M. W. Turner (1775–1851) as his country retreat and as a home for his father William (1745–1829). Turner lived there from 1814 to 1826. Originally known as Solus Lodge, it is the only surviving building designed by Turner, and shows the influence of his friend Sir John Soane. The appearance of the house had been much altered by the addition of second floors to the original side wings.When it was built, Twickenham was rural, as can be seen in the engraving Sandycombe Lodge, Twickenham, Villa of J. M. W. Turner (1814) that was engraved by W. B. Cooke after William Havell and is now held at Tate Britain.Since the sale of Sandycombe Lodge in 1826 by Turner, it has had several owners. The house was used as a factory producing airmen's uniforms during the Second World War. The vibrations from the heavy machinery caused damage to the staircase and ceilings of the house. The house was bought by Professor Harold Livermore and his wife in 1947, and they created the Sandycombe Lodge Trust (now Turner's House Trust) in 2005. After Livermore's death in 2010, the house was left to the trust to be preserved as a monument to Turner.Many of the house's original features survived, but it needed major restoration work and redecoration. Turner's House Trust sought to raise funds to restore the house, remove Victorian additions and return it to its appearance in Turner's day. In January 2015 it was announced that the Trust was to receive a grant of £1.4 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund to enable this work to take place. The yearlong renovation costing £2.4 million started in March 2016. The restoration of Turner's House is now complete and the house is open to the public;. Visitors can experience Turner's House as he lived in it, and learn the fascinating stories behind the conservation of this important historic house.

Sunrise with Sea Monsters

Sunrise with Sea Monsters is an unfinished oil painting by English artist J. M. W. Turner.

It is in the permanent collection of Tate Britain.

The Beacon Light

The Beacon Light is a painting by J. M. W. Turner. It was given to the National Museum of Wales by the Davies sisters (Gwendoline and Margaret). For some time it was regarded as a fake, but is now accepted as authentic.

The Fifth Plague of Egypt

The Fifth Plague of Egypt is an oil painting by Romantic English artist Joseph Mallord William Turner currently in the permanent collection at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Despite its title, it depicts Moses cursing the Egyptians with a plague of hail and fire, known as the seventh plague.

The Fighting Temeraire

The Fighting Temeraire, tugged to her last berth to be broken up, 1838 is an oil painting by the English artist Joseph Mallord William Turner. It was painted in 1838 and exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1839. The 98-gun ship HMS Temeraire was one of the last second-rate ships of the line to have played a distinguished role in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The painting depicts HMS Temeraire being towed by a paddle-wheel steam tug towards its final berth in Rotherhithe in south-east London in 1838 to be broken up for scrap. The painting hangs in the National Gallery, London, having been bequeathed to the nation by the artist in 1851. In 2005 it was voted the nation's favourite painting in a poll organised by BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

The Fountain of Indolence

The Fountain of Indolence is an oil painting by the English artist J. M. W. Turner. First exhibited in 1834, it is now in the collection of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.

The Painter (play)

The Painter is a 2011 play by the British writer Rebecca Lenkiewicz on the life and relationships of J. M. W. Turner. It premiered at the Arcola Theatre in London in January 2011 to mark its move to new premises. The premiere cast included Toby Jones as Turner, Denise Gough as Turner's model Jenny Cole, Amanda Boxer as Turner's mother and Niamh Cusack as his mistress Sarah Danby.

The Slave Ship

The Slave Ship, originally titled Slavers Throwing overboard the Dead and Dying—Typhoon coming on, is a painting by the British artist J. M. W. Turner, first exhibited in 1840. Measuring 35 3/4 x 48 1/4 in. in oil on canvas, it is now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In this classic example of a Romantic maritime painting, Turner depicts a ship, visible in the background, sailing through a tumultuous sea of churning water and leaving scattered human forms floating in its wake.

Whalers (J. M. W. Turner)

Whalers is an 1845 painting by British artist J. M. W. Turner. Done in oil on canvas, the work depicts a whaling ship and her launches pursuing a whale. The work is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.The painting depicts a wounded sperm whale thrashing in a sea of foam and blood. In the background is a ghostly three-masted whaling vessel.

The work is on view at The Metropolitan Museum's Gallery 808

Theologians and
Visual artists
J. M. W. Turner

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