Romantic Art: William Turner

Turner, Petworth Park, 1828.

William Turner is perhaps the most renowned and successful English painter, famous for his landscape paintings and watercolours. Turner is the forerunner of modernist abstraction and impressionism.

Turner is considered to be one if the leading painters of Romanticism, the artistic movement which originated in Europe by the end of the 18th century.

Born in London, Turner started painting at an early age and entered the Royal Academy of Art at the age of 14. Since that time he started showcasing his works and took part in exhibitions regularly. He was the youngest artist to become a full member of the Royal Academy at the age of 29.

Searching for ideas and beautiful landscapes, Turner travelled about Britain and Europe and made hundreds of on-site sketches, which he later used as the basis for his oil paintings. His art is influenced by the Renaissance and Baroque masters, by Raphael, Titian and others. And in addition to his oil paintings and typography, Turner is also renowned as a master of watercolour landscapes. His watercolours are no less expressive than the oil paintings. The most amazing thing in all his art works, which makes an unforgettable impression on viewers, is the “atmosphere” and the “light” in his paintings. The romantic landscapes full of light and colour, are complimented with historical and mythological scenes. Such are, for example, the works «Ulysses and Polyphemus», «Fishermen in the sea”, and others.

Turner left 300 oil paintings and 19 thousand drawings, most of them are now part of the Tate Gallery Collection.

Turner, Grand Canal, Venice, 1835.

Turner, The Slave Ship, 1839.

Turner, Campo Santo, Venice, 1842.

Turner, Flint Castle, 1838.

Turner, Inverary Pier Loch Fyne, Morning, 1845