Joseph Mallord William Turner British, 1775-1851


J.M.W. Turner was born in London in 1775. A child prodigy, he began studying at the Royal Academy at 14 years old, and was exhibiting by 15.


Turner was a Romantic landscape painter and watercolourist whose work was championed by the critic John Ruskin. Turner was credited with elevating the status of landscape painting to the same level as other genres like history painting; his career, alongside his contemporary John Constable, brought landscape painting unprecedented recognition.


Turner’s main interest lay in changing weather phenomena, such as storms, and made many watercolours and oil studies of different atmospheric scenes. His focus on this kind of subject matter and strong sense of movement, combined with loose brushstrokes, meant his work often came close to abstraction.


He died in London in 1851.