J.M.W. Turner was a prolific master born to a barber in Covent Garden in 1775. When he died in 1851, he left over 19,000 artworks. Selecting which to include in this book was a major feat in itself. Turner was a Romantic when it came to landscapes, with an inimitable flair for seascapes, and was a pioneer of new techniques to create tone and hue, deeply impressed by Goethe's theory of colours. It took a great art critic named John Ruskin to interpret his works in full. Turner was also a successful art gallery owner, professor of the Royal Academy, and tireless traveller who invariably returned home to England laden with outstanding artworks from abroad, especially Venice. With a keen eye for dramatic angle, he also documented on canvas the Battle of Waterloo, the fire that devoured Parliament, and other major historical events of his time. Today his works figure in the collections of the most famous museums in London, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington D.C.
Eric Shanes is an art historian who specialises in Turner and now serves as vice president of the Turner Society. Author of a dozen works on the subject, he has an established reputation that has made him a regular speaker on Turner at leading universities and educational institutions across the globe.
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